NBC Props Up Jay Leno

NBC has announced what it considers the highlights of the guest list for Jay Leno’s first two weeks back behind the desk of The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien Jay Leno, which starts next Monday, and I can say I won’t be tuning in, because there is not a single person in that lineup I have even the vaguest interest in seeing.

I mean, look at this roster: the cast of The Jersey Shore, American Idol judge Simon Cowell and former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin? Somebody is trolling for the lowest common denominator. At least Olympic gold medalists Apolo Anton Ohno, Shaun White and Lindsey Vonn are legitimate newsmakers, but they are bound to appear in more reputable venues. Even still, they represent a blatant attempt to appeal to a much younger demographic than Jay traditionally attracts. (In other words, Conan’s crowd.) Is anyone in Jay’s usual demo even going to recognize the Flying Tomato? Kim Kardashian is not going to lure me away from Late Show With David Letterman, either.

I will admit that I expect to be feeling a lot of morbid curiosity about premiere night because I can’t help wondering how Jay is going to handle the fiasco. Especially in light of the way the network continues to multiply the sin by adding insult to injury with its ultra-obnoxious promos featuring The Beatles’ “Get Back,” which imply that Jay somehow “belongs” on the Tonight Show. Please. The only place he belongs is on the sidelines, watching Conan. I hope I can resist the temptation to watch the repremiere in horror…