With every late night talk show on hiatus this week except "The Tonight Show," Jay Leno was first at bat to attempt a post-verdict Casey Anthony joke on Tuesday night. Although the other late night shows' monologue writers are most likely champing at the bit to spin a story about a mother possibly murdering her child into comedy gold, Leno's jokes are by default the ones that will direct the national dialogue about how to joke about Casey Anthony. Unfortunately for Leno, he swung and missed. Badly.
Remember in the mid 1990s when Jay Leno first made a name for himself as the host of "The Tonight Show" by introducing such classic bits as The Dancing Itos? Even though the O.J. Simpson homicide trial was 16 years ago, Jay hoped lightning would strike twice and he could turn the Casey Anthony child murder case into the next pop culture punchline. Except he did so by comparing the intelligence of the Florida jury that found Anthony not guilty to President Obama's economic team, because obviously Jay Leno's audience can't get enough comparisons between banking deregulation and infanticide.
Oh, but it gets better! When zero people in the audience laugh at Leno's joke, he turns to the bandleader (who is not Kevin Eubanks) and expresses bafflement that the joke bombed before doing it again to thunderous applause.
Let us know next time someone with the last name C.K. is on your show, Jay.