Though the newly returned Tonight Show is not allowed to use writers during the ongoing strike, WGA member Jay Leno has been telling monologue jokes he claims to have written himself for the past two nights — but the Writers Guild, like many of us, isn’t laughing. According to Vulture buddy Nikki Finke, Leno says he was given permission to write his own material by Guild president Patric Verrone during secret talks on Monday, but Verrone says this isn’t the case. At the meeting, Leno reportedly told him he was “going to do my monologue,” but it never clicked with Verrone that this meant he was actually going to write it. So, under the wobbly rules in place for the Tonight Show, Leno is apparently allowed to improvise his monologues (like Letterman does, we think) but not plan them beforehand. This sounds pretty reasonable to us — how hard can it possibly be to ad-lib jokes about Britney Spears and the weather in Iowa?
NBC Claims Jay Asked For & Received WGA Permission To Write Monologue At Secret Monday Meeting With Verrone [Deadline Hollywood Daily]
Union, NBC Spar Over Leno Monologues [AP]