Looks like TV critics would have been better off boycotting Jay Leno's return. On Monday, the late-night host reclaimed his Tonight Show throne and the reviews are in. Verdict? Not so good. First, here's Leno's opening monologue:
- Lee Siegel at The Daily Beast: "Watching him flounder and founder through his attempt at a comeback last night, you felt that he has lost the certainty that anyone is listening to him, that he feels the country has moved past him."
- Robert Bianco at USA Today: "Monday's opening monologue, supposedly Leno's strong suit, was tired, lame and unfunny. In other words, typical of the real Leno, rather than the Leno of public-relations imagination."
- David Zurawik at The Baltimore Sun: "That first 30 minutes offered a look at what we will be left with night in night out — Leno and one of the least imaginative team of writers and filmmakers in TV. The film bits that Leno and his crew come up give new meaning to the work uninspired."
- Mark Graham at New York Magazine: "Leno's big return to the Tonight Show throne he abdicated for all of eight months was more of a letdown than we had even anticipated. Not only was there little to no energy in the studio audience for what NBC had been billing for weeks as a 'Get Back' moment, but Leno himself didn't even seem to be particularly enthused to be back hosting the show."
- Steve Johnson in the Chicago Tribune: "This new effort had neither pop, nor sizzle, nor surprise, and no amount of cheerleading from unconvincingly hyper-first guest Jamie Foxx could make it seem otherwise."