For years, Leno has been popular with the American people. His style of comedy is less crude and more fair and balanced than his competitors.
Leno realizes that both Democrats and Republicans are fair targets of comedy. Over his 22 years at the Tonight Show, his political jokes have targeted Bill Clinton the most, followed by George W. Bush.
Why replace such a ratings winner? Let’s not forget that the Tonight Show airs on NBC, the network that operates the left wing embarrassment, MSNBC. In addition, Comcast, the corporation that owns a 49% share in NBC donated in excess of $300,000 to the President’s 2012 re-election campaign.
It is not hard to imagine the network’s corporate brass being unhappy with Leno’s jokes that skewer both sides of the political spectrum. They must have longed for the type of comedy delivered by the other late night comics who mostly joke about those nasty Republicans.
In what must have been especially irritating to the NBC bosses, in recent years, Leno has been one of the few comics with the courage to actually joke about President Obama on topics such as Benghazi and the healthcare debacle. In fact, on his last show, Leno offered one last Obamacare joke, remarking that “the worst thing about losing this job is I’m no longer covered by NBC. Now I’ll have to sign up for Obamacare.”
Leno also delivered great comedy about the administration’s numerous scandals such as the NSA spying disclosure or the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups. This type of material was too radioactive for the other late night hosts, who never joked about the President in that manner. Thus, it is no surprise that viewers who are not hard core liberals gravitated toward Leno.
It is obvious that the other late night comics such as David Letterman or Jimmy Kimmel rarely target President Obama. They seem reluctant to lampoon a liberal African American President. Fortunately, Leno has been an equal opportunity comic and for that reason he has cultivated a huge following in the country.
Starting February 17, NBC will turn over the reigns to another predictably liberal host, Jimmy Fallon. It will be interesting to see whether he continues to act as an Obama sycophant or whether he adopts a more independent streak, like Leno.
Henceforth, Leno should look for another hosting opportunity. Clearly, there are plenty of television networks that are interested and millions of Americans who enjoy his brand of even handed comedy.
In the meantime, with Leno gone, late night comedy has now become much less interesting and nowhere near as funny.