Former NBC “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno said Tuesday that he doesn’t miss hosting a late-night show and lamented that “everyone has to know your politics” now during an interview with NBC’s Al Roker on the third hour of the “Today” show.
“Do you miss being on the show, or is it such a different time that it would be hard to do?” “Today” host Roker asked Leno.
“No, it’s different. I don’t miss it. You know, everything now is, if people don’t like your politics, they — everyone has to know your politics,” Leno replied.
“I kind of used Johnny’s model. People couldn’t figure out. ‘Well, you and your Republican friends’ or ‘Well, Mr. Leno, you and your Democratic buddies.’ And I would get hate mail from both sides equally,” Leno said, referring to his predecessor at “The Tonight Show,” Johnny Carson.
“But when people see you as one-sided, it just makes it tough,” Leno, 68, continued. “And plus, I did it when, you know, Clinton was horny and [George W.] Bush was dumb, and it was just a little easier.”
“Now it’s all very serious,” he said. “I’d just like to see a bit of civility come back to it, you know? People say, ‘Oh, it must be easy to do jokes with Trump.’ No, it’s actually harder because the punch line of the joke used to be ‘That’s like the president with a porn star.’ Well, now the president is with a porn star. Where do you go with that? How do you get more outrageous than that?”
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SOURCE: The Hill, by Joe Concha