Comedian Jay Leno checked into a California comedic rehabilitation center yesterday, after apparently hitting what his spokesman is characterizing as "Comedy Rock Bottom."
Leno's spokesman read the following on behalf of his client:
"After many years of a steadily declining sense of humor, I have come to a moment of clarity. I have finally come to grips with the fact that I AM NO LONGER FUNNY. I used to be funny, but around 1994 the gradual decline of my humor began sliding away leading me to becoming the unfunny guy I am today.
"You see, once David Letterman's honeymoon with CBS ended, he quit being funny. And that led me to think to myself, 'Hey, Jay! Now the pressure's off.' With Letterman having lost his sense of humor, you can relax a little. I mean, who cares? Since you now have no real competition, you can keep your viewers and your job without having to worry about being "on" every minute.
"So one lame joke led to another, and before I realized it, I was just like Dave: completely unfunny! Whether it was my "old men need Viagra" quips years after the timeliness of erectile dysfunction drug humor had worn off; or my "Clinton/Lewinsky" jokes that I was still telling 6 years into the Bush presidency, I was starting to see my whole life unravel. I mean, have you guys noticed that anytime I have a British guest on my show, I think that it's the funniest thing in the world to respond to them back in a patronizing manner, by parroting their accent to them? There's not even a joke there, I'm just pointing out that they sound different than Americans. And you guys let me try to pass that off as comedy?
"Or have you seen the way that I think it's funny to take a clip of a current event, maybe a speech by Vice President Dick Cheney, and I simply super-impose video of my band leader Kevin Eubank's face onto Mr. Cheney's body to make it look like Kevin gave the speech? That's not funny; but you guys let me get away with it.
"I can't help but think that the American public is partly to blame since they enabled me by still watching my show. Regardless, it's my problem to fix, and hopefully my stay at The Robin Williams Rehabilitation Center For The Comedically Depleted will help me find a way to restore the sense of humor I once had. If all goes well, maybe I can even be as funny as I was when I was Johnny Carson's guest host in the 1980's."
Former funny man Robin Williams was inspired to form that comedy rehab center after he, himself, completely lost his sense of humor in 1994.
Said Williams, "After Mrs. Doubtfire came out, I just ran out of material. Upon restoring myself back up to the status of being at least occasionally funny with intense therapy, I decided the least I could do was help others who encounter the same problem.
"I wish Jay a full recovery. He really did used to be funny. Let's hope he one day is again."
Other famous patients at Williams' center include Billy Crystal, the late Rodney Dangerfield and Bobcat Goldthwait. At this time, Whoopi Goldberg has still refused to enter the center despite eleven interventions by her colleagues encouraging her to do exactly that, and Jimmy Kimmell recently pulled a "Britney" by checking in to the center, and then checking out the very next day. He has since returned to being unfunny on his ABC late-night show Jimmy Kimmell Live.
Americans are going to have to stay up a little later if they want to laugh, since there's at least one funny man left on late-night television: Conan O'Brien.