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Chris Kelly

Chris Kelly

Posted: July 5, 2010 05:40 PM

I Love America Because No One Murdered Jay Leno

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It's a shitty world and the fix is in. The drinks are watered, the decks are stacked and the laws are cobwebs for the rich and chains for the poor. You can eat all you want, but that's because they know you'll just fill up on bread. The House always wins and democracy means you get to choose between two straight male protestant businessmen who went to school together. Meanwhile the oil rigs explode and the wars go on and the taxpayers pay the bankers' bonuses because a contract's a contract. In sæculum, et in sæculum sæculi. Like the Jerk said, it's a profit deal, and anyone who tells you different is either protecting you or they don't know what they're talking about.

I'll give you that.

But it was the Fourth of July yesterday, and as I watched the fireworks with my kids, I realized I still believe in this system.

It's okay, really. We're not as bad as all that. The fundamentals are strong.

You know why?

Because no one's murdered Jay Leno.

If the people in charge were really as evil as the cynics and the conspiracy nuts say, Jay Leno would be dead as an unfunny doornail.

Think of the worst company in the world. It would have to be General Electric, right? Now think of the least moral people in the world. Network executives, of course. Now imagine if General Electric owned a network. It would be like if Satanists were actually working for Satan. Anyway, that would be NBC/Universal. Now imagine -- let's say you were writing a thriller novel, or you've read a newspaper about Russia since the rise of the oligarchs -- that those people had a problem.

General Electric/NBC had two assets -- an aging talk show host who made them a lot of money, and a younger talk show host who also made them a lot of money, and both hosts wanted to be on TV at the same time.

General Electric/NBC wanted to make the younger host happy, but they didn't want the old host to go somewhere else and start a new show. In a cynical world, what would happen?

Jay Leno would go out for a Jaywalk one night and never come back.

Remember, this is NBC, who obviously don't think they'll ever have to answer for the sins they do. During the writers guild strike they aired American Gladiators. And they're working for General Electric, who commit war crimes.

How easy would it have been for Jay Leno to have an accident? He looks like a heart attack. And all he does is eat Koo Koo Roo Chicken and drive old cars. A bone could get lodged in a windpipe. A brake line could snap.

And Conan could have done the first week of shows as a tribute from the recently rechristened James "Jay" Leno Memorial Theater.

Last week, Jay Leno posted lower ratings than Conan did a year ago. The show will drag on, and on, but the franchise is dead. How many millions did they pay Conan to leave? How many more for Leno to stay? How many more will they lose when Conan's show starts on TBS?

And the whole mess would have been so simple to avoid.

Think about that, whenever the news gets you down.

The worst people you could possibly imagine could have made hundreds of millions of dollars by killing one man. A man nobody on Earth would miss.

But they didn't.

I think that says something pretty nice -- and pretty irrefutable -- about America.