dinner and the tonight show.

During our company holiday party, we have casino games, after which we can take our earned chips and turn them into raffle tickets for various prizes. I always go for the "Dinner and A Show" package. There are better rewards, usually a huge gift card to Amazon or the fanciest new iWhatever. But I find that most people put their tickets into the high dollar items, and maybe a few of them throw a ticket in the smaller buckets just to diversify. I go and throw all my tickets into the dinner/show bucket. Even with my meager winnings, this manages to dissuade others from putting tickets in, as it looks like their chances are rather poor for a prize they are indifferent about.

I am generally indifferent to the actual show, but I like free theater tickets. Besides, free dinner is always worth it.

Anyway, using this strategy, I have won the dinner/show package 3 out of the last 4 years. We saw Spamalot and The Addams Family in years past. This year, the prize was tickets to see Jay Leno on his speaking tour.

I had no idea what to expect. I'm familiar with Jay from the Tonight Show, of course, though I'm not sure if I've ever actually watched an episode.

For the first part of the show, he did a version of his opening monologue from the show, which means cracking jokes about various news items. The jokes were fine, but what bothered me was that the news items were no longer new. He brought up political scandals from years ago. And while the jokes were fine, they were the same lines that were used back when those scandals were current. In fact, I am pretty sure that Jay's writers wrote those jokes for his show, which sorta makes me wonder why people pay to see this guy anyway. Can I have a team of people write jokes for me and then I'll go on tour? I know some funny people, I bet they could come up with some great lines about Reagan. You go far back enough, and your audience won't even remember the relevant scandals, and it will even seem like news. Of course, then you have to explain about things like supply-side economics, the evil empire, and the contras, so it might be more of a comedic history lesson.

After the not-news, he did more of a stand-up routine. I enjoyed this more, even if I wasn't really in the target demographic of old men.

But hey, free show.

Now that I'm done complaining, I'll say what I wish he had done. Jay Leno has been in show business for decades, and I bet he has some stories, fantastic stories about Hollywood parties that have never been told before except at other Hollywood parties. That's what I would liked to have heard. But Jay Leno can do whatever he wants, and he probably does.

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