apropos of nothing

Recorded for Posterity: Jay Leno’s Final Writerless Monologue

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The writers for The Tonight Show return to work today, but last night Jay Leno celebrated his final writerless show with an opening monologue lasting ten minutes and eighteen seconds. To give Jay’s writers a head start on their first day back at work, we’ve taken the liberty of transcribing the monologue and have helpfully reordered it into three categories: Jokes That Worked As Jay Wrote Them, Jokes That Could Work With a Little Polish, and Jokes That Are Hopeless.

Very awkward moment in the Hillary Clinton campaign today. I guess Hillary told her staff to call Democrats with money, and they called Barack Obama.

And the tobacco companies, always thinking of us, God bless ‘em, always have America’s best interests at heart. They’re working on a cigarette with 50 percent less smoke than regular cigarettes. They say it’s perfect for people with one lung.

Remember we had that bear guy on last week? He told us at Yellowstone they hand out pepper spray, to defend against charging bears. Shut up! If a bear’s charging you, the pepper spray is just a condiment. He’ll sprinkle some more on you. “Oh, is that pepper?”

Here’s something interesting. They did a poll on whether Bill’s campaigning helped Hillary or hurt her. And 38 percent said it hurt her. And 36 percent said it helped her. And 28 percent said, “He never told me he was married!”

And researchers in Switzerland say that between the years 1944 and 1963, 4,500 people in Sweden were given full frontal lobotomies. That means their brains were fried out. Those people later went on to create the Scandinavian furniture company Ikea.

You know this? According to Men’s Health magazine, men also have monthly cycles that affect their moods. In fact, Bayer aspirin has a new product for this: Midol for Men. [Leno displays a six-pack of beer.]

Here’s an amazing statistic. Do you know that half the men who have plastic surgery in America are lawyers? That makes sense: Sometimes the ambulance stops short and you break your nose. Only eighteen hours until the writers come back. Knockin’ ‘em out! Knockin’ ‘em out!


Well, good news for Hollywood. The writers’ strike officially ends tomorrow. It ends tonight! All our writers come back to work, and not a moment too soon! You know even the porn actors’ guild supported the writers’ strike. In fact things got so bad, some of the porn actors were forced to take jobs as pool guys and pizza-delivery guys.

As you know, the government is handing out rebate checks — we’re like a bad car dealership now, this country — the government is handing out rebate checks to restore confidence in the U.S. economy. Of course, half the people want the money in euros, half want it in pesos.

And this is depressing news. According to a new poll, the nation’s youth do not have faith in the federal government to help them in their future. Fifty percent said they thought the federal government would get in the way of their goals or ambitions. The other 50 percent said they had no goals or ambitions and hoped to work for the federal government.

As you know, an earthquake hit Mexico this week. No serious injuries to the population; luckily, they were all up here in L.A. But if they’d been home, it would’ve been terrible.

The military has developed a sandwich that remains edible after three years. Three years it can be sitting on the ground and it’s still edible. If that won’t get guys to re-up, nothing will. That shows you how dedicated our armed forces are: The other side promises their guys 72 virgins? We get three-year-old sandwiches. Here’s how the sandwiches work — after three years they’re taken out of military rotation and put in bus-station vending machines across the country.

And according to the Center for Health Studies, 70 percent of Americans do not get enough exercise. The other 30 percent are selling exercise equipment on cable.

And here’s a frightening statistic. Thailand leads the world in men who have had their manhood cut off. That would cut down on tourism, huh? I’d like to go there, but I don’t know if I want to go that badly!

And here’s some food news. Scientists say they’re very close to developing organic sensors, sensors they would implant in food to let you know if it’s gone bad. Do we need this? We already have this. It’s called mold! If there’s green stuff growing on the bread, you don’t eat it!

And a dairy right here in Santa Rosa is now selling something called hemp milk, made from hemp, the root of marijuana. How many cookies are you gonna eat when you drink a glass of this? I’ll be glad when the writers come back.

Here’s some health news. Doctors say that if men are trained properly they can give themselves their own prostate exam. Is that a good idea? It’s bad enough when I see the guy in the car next to me picking his nose.

Well, here’s something I learned on the Discovery Channel. You know sea lions go three months without eating, one of only two mammals that can do this. The other is the supermodel.

And according to Self magazine, 59 percent of Americans do not believe in reincarnation. On the other hand, 41 percent felt they’ve been asked this question before.

Amtrak did a survey. They asked 1,000 people who they’d most like to have sit next to them on an Amtrak train. You know who they picked? Paramedic.

I know The Sopranos has been off the air for a year now. Now Tony Soprano has really let himself go. [Shows Web video of immense fat guy shooting handgun.]

Now scientists say they can grow new organs — new livers, kidneys — out of single cells. It’s amazing. The Rolling Stones can stay on tour for another 50 years! And it’s amazing, they can grow these organs. How do you think that makes bald guys feel? You can’t grow a little patch right here?

According to researchers in Israel, eating a lot of garlic helps you live longer and avoid infection. People who eat a lot of garlic rarely die from infection. You know what they die of? Loneliness.

American Gladiators has been a big creative hit for us here at NBC. And I guess they’ve done a special version for the Bravo network. [Shows video of a show called American Gaydiators.]

Hey, listen to this. I read an article about the five biggest mistakes people make while proposing marriage. You know the No. 1 mistake men make? Proposing during a lap dance.

And finally, something else interesting before we move on. According to a study called “The Human Biological Clock” by Cambridge University — see, all these jokes are footnoted, you can look them up — the best time to have sex is seven in the morning, and the best time to eat a big meal is 8:30 in the morning. In fact, Denny’s has just introduced their new Grand Slam Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am breakfast. Just came out today.

We’ve got a great show for you tonight!

Earlier: Leno Scabs It Up, Letterman Bores Us, and Vulture Reacts in Real Time
Related: New York’s Sam Anderson on Jay Leno [NYM]
When is your favorite show coming back? Check out Vulture’s constantly updated Poststrike Encyclopedia to find out.

Recorded for Posterity: Jay Leno’s Final Writerless Monologue