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Laugh all you want; Jay Leno makes more jokes

By Carl Kovac
Dominion Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 24, 1990

He makes it look so easy. 

How many people can carry on a decent conversation for two hours, let alone be consistently funny while doing it? 

Jay Leno, permanent guest host on NBC's "The Tonight Show" and the odds-on favorite to suc­ceed Johnny Carson, delighted some 4,600 fans with his laid-back caustic humor Saturday night at the Coliseum. 

Although some of his stories border on the scatological, he is unique in this era of four-letter-word comedians in that he can punch holes in pomposity without resorting to vulgarity or racial or sexual putdowns.

Leno views life with a curmud­geon's eye. He has a keen appre­ciation for the absurd and almost nothing is sacred. 

His own family provides him with much of his material. 

He description of his father in­sisting on returning a broken toi­let seat with 92 days left on its 20- year warranty certificate "that was so old it looked like the Magna Charta" broke up the audience. 

His recounting of his parents' attempts to cope with a remote-­controlled VCR he gave them brought more laughs and elicited knowing nods from some who ap­parently have had to deal with similar situations.

"I didn't get my parents a tape machine; I got them a $1,200 digi­tal clock that flashes '12:00' all the time. They use it as a night light," he quipped. 

Modern movie theaters—or cinema complexes—as they are want to be called - took a barrage of Leno's barbs. 

"No one works in movie theaters anymore. There are no ush­ers," he said. "When I was a kid, everybody wanted to work in a theater. You got to wear a red jacket and shine your flashlight on people who insisted on talking during the movie." 

He reported that "In New York City, they show movies with the lights on for the safety of the audi­ence. Great. Now drug dealers can identify me as the only witness." 

He also expressed bemusement at the size of popcorn and soft drink containers at movie the­aters, wondering, "Why do they make drink containers two gal­lons larger than your bladder?" 

Leno gave horror movies a high stupidity rating. 

Citing "The Fly" as an example, he said, "Here's this guy who turns into this ugly creature and goes around gorging himself on human flesh and at the end of a movie, there's a disclaimer, 'Any similarity to actual persons .. .' No kidding.'' 

Other targets of Leno's biting wit: 

• The airlines - "Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'm Bob, your pilot, and I'm an alco­holic." 

• Shopping with wives or girlfriends, an experience he described as "Mall hell." 

• Women's perfumes - "Why don't they make perfume men like? Imagine a woman walking around smelling like a sizzling steak.'' 

• Morning television - "I've watched Oprah and Phil and all men are beasts that time of day.'' 

• Differences between the sexes—"The basic difference be­tween men and women is that men like the Three Stooges and women hate them. When's the last time you saw two women say 'Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk,' to each oth­er?"