“The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” returns tonight with Republican hopeful Mike Huckabee (above, with Leno) in the guest chair. Leno kicked off the show with several gags, some strike-related, some not. (Here’s one: “Of course, the strike is especially hard on NBC. Do you know there are actually more people picketing NBC now than watching NBC, right now.”)
As for David Letterman’s ability to score a WGA deal through Worldwide Pants, Leno added, “I don’t blame him for getting a deal. God bless him.”
Here’s what Leno said in opening:
You know what I’m doing? I’m doing what I did the day I started. I write jokes and wake my wife up in the middle of the night and say, ‘Honey, it this funny?’ So if this monologue doesn’t work it’s my wife’s fault. She says the joke was funny.
We are not using outside guys. We are following the guild thing. We can write for ourselves. We just can’t do what CBS did. See, Dave was able to get a deal because Dave has his own company. I don’t blame him for getting a deal, God bless him. We have to go by ourselves up against the CBS machine. One man against a monologue.
The WGA may still take issue with Leno writing jokes, even if his wife is his only collaborator. It remains to be seen how the Guild will react to whether or not Leno’s, Conan O’Brien’s, Jon Stewart’s or Stephen Colbet’s bits are considered crossing the line.
Leno’s complete monologue following the jump.