The former “Tonight Show” icon, Jay Leno, has recently spoken out about cancel culture and its impact on entertainment.
He was the host of the popular NBC program from 1992 to 2009. He has since given up his late-night spotlight and instead hosts “Jay Leno’s Garage,” where he gets to share his passion for cars and show off his car collection.
Jay Leno, Comedy, and Cancel Culture
However, despite his comedy career (mostly) in the past, Leno is never afraid to crack a joke. He has learned to adapt his humor over the years to better accommodate the changing times. Leno has learned that being funny doesn’t have to mean being disrespectful and offensive.
‘When I do a gig in Utah and they’ll go, ‘Look, we don’t want any drug jokes, we don’t want any sex jokes. I go, ‘OK, I’ll take those out’ and I do something else. With the #MeToo movement, all of a sudden the sexist jokes everybody used to do, you can’t do anymore. So you either change with the times or you die. You adapt to the circumstances,” Leno said in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times.
Many comedians have spoken out about how comedy has new challenges as “cancel culture” has become more prominent. Leno is not one to complain, rather he’s one to adapt appropriately.
He’s also apologized for past comments he’s made that took things a step too far. For example, back in March, Leno apologized to the Asian American community for past racist comments about Koreans eating dogs. This joke, amongst others, created controversy over at “America’s Got Talent.” Gabrielle Union, one of the other judges at the time, said that it was a toxic and racist work environment, citing Leno’s joke that was cut from the program as an example.
As a comedian, Jay Leno has said his one goal is to bring joy and laughter. Offending people isn’t what he’s looking to do at all.
“If I see somebody who’s really hurt by something I did, that’s not my job. The idea is to get them to laugh,” Leno said.
Leno Revives ‘You Bet Your Life’
Jay Leno is reviving the classic game show “You Bet Your Life,” which is set to premiere on September 13.
It’s amongst a surge of game show revivals, such as “Press You Luck,” “To Tell The Truth,” and “$100,000 Pyramid.” The revived game show will feature different contestants from all backgrounds as they work together to answer various questions for cash prizes.
“We’ll pair a rapper from Chicago with an Ohio farmer lady, and they work as a team and it’s quite funny to watch,” Leno said to the news outlet. The former show was hosted by Groucho Marx, a comedy icon. The show has taped more than 70 episodes at this time.