Jay Leno bombed with Casey Anthony jokes last night

If you wanted righteous satire about the dismaying Anthony verdict, you were out of luck, with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on vacation. In fact, most of late-night was on vacation, except for Jay Leno, who bypassed satire of the media and stuck with what he knows best: “It was so hot today, people were as delirious and incoherent as a Florida jury…. This [verdict] means President Obama’s economic team is only the second most clueless group of people in America.” 

This groaner was met with virtual silence from the Tonight Show audience. Leno paused and turned to his band. “Is the mike off? I don’t think they heard the joke,” he said.

Then he repeated the joke, and, thus prompted, the crowd clapped. Watch the video and tell me whether you think it was a technical glitch or not. “I don’t get it,” Leno continued — the show must go on! “Apparently, the OJ jury was tired retired and they moved to Florida. When they read the verdict, even Casey Anthony went [does spit-take], ‘What? What?'”

What, indeed. Any way you hear ‘em, these yuks were less a matter of “too soon” than just “not funny.”

Twitter: @kentucker

Comments (494 total) Add your comment
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  • MWC

    Jay here’s a lesson in commedy. Child murder = not funny.

    • Ken

      Jay Leno hasn’t been funny in years. Unless he steals something from Howard Stern.

      • lydia

        I actually thought the O.J. Jury joke was pretty funny!!!

      • anonymous

        lydia, you are a twit.

      • Cygnus

        There’s plenty of over-50 demographic that still watch him, and think he’s funny. Unfortunately, that comes at the cost of eliminating any pop culture references from the monologue. The elderly have no idea who Lady Gaga or Justin Beiber are, so Jay has to settle for less funny targets, like Congress and the President. Johnny Carson had more edge to him than Jay.

      • Cimba Cat

        Even when he steals from Howard, he can’t make it funny!

      • Sixoh

        Maher is a sick loudmouthed fool that doesn’t know when to shut up.

      • Rhonda

        Lydia, try not to sound so desperate, really!! Not the time nor the place. Can’t imagine why you’re looking for someone …

      • foobar

        You all do know that lydia is a robot, right? Sheesh.

        Oh, and Jay Leno sucks and always has. Only grammas watch him anymore.

      • dark one

        lydia, i was just think’n how i’d like to meet a doctor, where you @?

      • Cid

        or Conan

      • Chris

        Seriously…Leno is and has not been funny, though he seems to think so the way her re-tells the same lame jokes all week long.

      • moke

        Stern hasn’t been fuuny since he got married. He stole most of his bits from Steve Allen and Ernie Kovacs

      • Stern

        hey you guys, I know the lyrics to lady gaga music.. i’m cool

      • Jason

        Or Bill Hicks.

      • Rags

        I have a dog named Howard. He’s very stern where he pi55es.

      • fredringo

        Hi, Lydia. You seem like just what I’m looking for! Just go to my web site and sign up to pay me 29.99 per month, and we’ll take it from there. Do you like long walks on the beach? I hope so!!

      • Hans

        Lydia, I’m not sure what kind of doctor you are but I’m guessing your doctorate is not in English. Loved your creative use of puncuation though. Illiteracy is such a turn-on. You are almost smart enough to have been on the Anthony jury.

      • farleyjc

        Howard who???

      • Stern

        howard the duck.. who do you think? me you idiots.. the great one.. the one you actually have to pay to listen to on the radio.. sheish

      • Cindy

        The jokes were funny, regardless of the topic. Leno didn;t say anyhting about Caylee or murder. He joked about the skank that lied nad got away with murder becasue 12 idiots were on the jury.
        Get off the internet and go back to helping OJ find the REAL killer of his wife and Ron Goldman….

      • gc

        Howard Stern hasn’t been funny in years either.

      • BadJokeJay

        Jay didn’t actually even say the joke right. He said “This means President Obama’s economic team is only the second most clueless people in America” instead of “second most group of clueless people.”

        Maybe that’s why people didn’t laugh? It’s kind of confusing wording. But the way Jay immediately turned to the band and asked if the mike was on made it seem like the audience immediately gave him a shitty reaction.

      • YoBaby

        Re; Cygnus (?), I’m WELL over 50, love Gaga, I’m a little monster, CHOOSE to know what’s happening on my terms, have SEVERAL degrees, am incredably humorus myself sooo there. You’r nothing short of an age snob. Letterman is edgyer, though. The mike did short abit and the audience “lost something in translation.” This wasn’t murder is funny stuff, it was irony at it’s most unattractive state. NOT a bomb! That was the verdict.

      • rozay

        I agree Jay Lenno is not funny but none of these so called late show host are! He is simply disgusting and lets be honest there are many reason why ppl will take pity on Casey even though she is a child killer as opposed to OJ.

      • SpaceRat

        Cygnus writes: “There’s plenty of over-50 demographic that still watch him, and think he’s funny. Unfortunately, that comes at the cost of eliminating any pop culture references from the monologue. The elderly have no idea who Lady Gaga or Justin Beiber are…” Yes, those of us over 50 know who Lady Gaga and Justin Beiber are. We also know who LBJ, Gerald Ford, Mark Essex, Charles Whitman, and Charles Manson were. We also got to witness the Beatles coming to America. We created Pop Culture! The only good thing I can say about you is, one day you’ll also be over 50, and you will say, “Wow! I sure was a dumb ass when I was younger!

      • JR

        Elderly Cygnus? Would you like us all terminated or something? We’ve heard of Lady Caca and Bieber Fever.

        Maher is funny? The hate he spits out daily? He’s the poster boy for the left in America, hateful, intolerant. Jay’s humour doesn’t do that.

    • True Dat

      Was Jay ever funny?

      • sally

        It was a Tuesday in April 1984.

      • @sally

        That was funnier than anything Jay Leno’s said in years.

      • M&M

        Nope. Talentless, thieving, back-stabbing creep.

      • Roger

        For you silly geese that ask if Jay was ever funny. Check his bank account. Now check yours. Now that’s funny!

      • M&M

        Roger = D o u c h e b a g

      • Alan

        Why is Jay Leno not being funny surprising TO ANYONE????? He has never been funny. It’s like the annoying single uncle at a family barbecue who you get stuck beside and whose jokes are always lame! Jay Leno can’t compete against Stewart, Maher or Letterman or god forbid even Kimmel sometimes.

      • os perez

        exactly… guy has always been a vomit to listen to… zero comedic timing and his lame ass jokes have always been written for him… so its not like he even writes his own jokes.


        But Leno still has the best ratings of all the late night joke jocks.

      • michael

        Jay is very funny if you listen without judging him. There is a reason why he is king of late night in every age group and Conan is barely hanging on.

    • Tot Mom

      Let’s go swimming Jay!

      • sublimelytragic

        Forget Jay, Dave, Conan, Craig, Maher, et. al. The smartest funniest comedian who always made me laugh was Denis Miller

    • Elizabeth

      I second that, MWC.

    • Athena

      He’s an idiot, and has been since the 90s.

      • SpaceRat

        A rich idiot.

    • Leno is God

      It’s funny. It’s always funny. Jay Leno is the ideal late night talk show host. He rules the television airwaves, not like those filthy liberal hacks O’Brien, Letterman, and Kimmel.

      • sara

        you’re right. Child murder is hilarious. Moron.

      • @sara

        The jury clearly said it was not murder!

      • @@sara

        No, the jury said the state hadn’t proved Casey Anthony murdered Caylee. They never said it wasn’t murder.

      • osman

        r u serious leno is garbage and isn’t even funny. passed his prime. kimmmel way funnier than leno

      • ryan

        Leno is a turd. When it comes to late night comedy Stewart and Colbert rule, no doubt about it. Followed closely by Conan. Then Adult Swim (after all the crap produced by Seth McFarline).
        Jay needs to be told that OJ jokes aren’t funny anymore.

      • @sara

        If they didn;t prove murder then it was not MURDER. the alternative was accidental drowning, not OJ did it.

      • jets

        Leno’s not a conservative. He just spinelessly panders for ratings. He’s like stale jello.

        this reminds me of when Leno was pulling ahead of Letterman in the ratings, profiting off the O.J. “joke mine;” doing stuff like the “Letterman-esque” dancing Ito’s and crap, and Letterman was asked why he’s not joking about O.J., and he replied “I don’t find double murder funny.” He paid the price for it in ratings but at least kept his integrity.

      • tim

        To @ Sarah:

        You’re dense. Just because they didn’t find one person guilty of murder doesn’t mean she wasn’t murdered. I cannot believe how much of a moron some people are!

      • sara

        wow, apparently little Caylee isn’t dead then?? Or are you all under the impression she offed herself? My God, some people are horribly horribly stupid.

      • Katie J.

        Only very small children and people over 75 find Jay Leno funny. Or super lame, pathetically cheesy people in between those age groups. As a woman I her early thirties, I have exactly ZERO friends that like Jay. We all love Conan and always have.

      • kh

        Typical conserva-nut comment – whether someone’s funny or not has nothing to do with the jokes, only their politics.

      • Darselle

        What does politics have to do with Jay’s stupidity??? He’s just a big jaw nut.

      • dwilliam80

        Umm, Sarah, did you even hear the joke, it had nothing to do with Caylee, it was mocking the jury. He would never have made a joke about Caylee’s murder. Pay attention here.

      • hahaha175

        He’s funny to me

      • James

        Really? This discussion is about the funniness of a Jay Leno monologue. I’m glad you were able to stay on topic and show your disgues with a political group. Leave your computer and your trailer and enjoy the sunshine for once.

      • Jello Biafra

        Hey, Leno is God.

        Go suck on some santorum

      • stephanie

        Well if he’s so funny, why have I never flown out to see his shown, yet I’ll get on a plane for Conan?

      • @@Sarah

        Have you heard some of the juries’ 100 thousand dollar interview????? They all believe that the father had something to do with it…???!!! So they don’t have enough evidence for Casey, but they got enough to believe that George is guilty??? I’m starting to think they pleaded not guilty just so they can get money out of it. They DIDN”T believe ANYBODY BUT CASEY!!! The only reason they convicted her for lying was BECAUSE SHE ADMITTED TO LYING TO THE POLICE.. I wouldn’t go as far as to call them stupid or condemn them, but common sense certainly did not apply to them.

    • UM

      You do realize that he was making fun of the jury for not seeing what he had already determine without seeing any evidence himself.

      • frou

        Anyone with a television set was able to hear the same testimony and see the same evidence the jury did. You didn’t know it was televised?

      • ToFrou

        It might have been televised–but most productive human beings had other stuff to do than watch weeks and weeks of a televised trial. Plus not everything was televised–there are restrictions on what can be filmed.

      • casey tot mom anthony

        ToFrou – Everything the jury heard and considered was televised and even the raw videos were archived on wftv.com. I guess being interested in current events within the legal system makes someone unproductive?

    • wakeforce

      The funniest joke I’ve heard so far came from the “Twitter universe”- Casey Anthony deserves to meet a nice man. I heard Jordan van der Sloot is available.

      • Sherry Wright

        It’s Joran van der Sloot (not Jordan)

      • Max

        That’s not funny. And not because it’s in poor taste, it’s just not funny.

      • Toots


    • Alan

      Why is Jay Leno not being funny surprising TO ANYONE????? He has never been funny. It’s like the annoying single uncle at a family barbecue who you get stuck beside and whose jokes are always lame! Jay Leno can’t compete against Stewart, Maher or Letterman or god forbid even Kimmel sometimes.

    • TAMMY


      • Squishmar

        So Tammy, you’re basically suggesting that her punishment be listening to jokes made about her? Why didn’t the prosecution ask for that instead of death? Oh, right… having to listen to Leno over and over would be considered cruel and unusual punishment.

    • ben

      leno = not funny

      • hahaha175

        Leno= Hillarious

    • Jimmy Briggs

      Dear Ken
      Your a tool. That was funny. Its sad,yes. The jokes were funny. Funny and sad kinda like your hair line.

      • Big Walt

        A) The crowd laughed quite loudly at the first CA joke he made. B) He said the OJ jury RETIRED not “was tired”. If you want to call this journalism, that’s pretty lazy journalism Ken.

    • Ice

      I am sick of Leno’s anti Obama/anti Democrat jokes. All Leno is is a right wing shill, a Rush Limbaugh hand puppet.

      • sam

        Jay Leno is a democrat you noob. He just pokes fun at the president because that’s what stand up comics and late night hosts do.
        Conan is way better.

      • Karima

        Hudsucker94particularly exceptionally tleanted. Lady Gaga is a crap artist who will either be gone in a few years or end up like madonna, a joke that’s not only a shell of there former self, never thought madonna was that good to begin with, but someone that’s gone on for too long and should do us all a favor and stop as of now.

    • BlendedBaby

      I dunno… dead baby jokes are damn funny. Just dont think of it as child murder. Store it away as 15th trimester abortion and you can chuckle all day.

      • Grandpa of 5

        Leno certainly was not at his best.
        joking about the Caylee Anthony case derides the need to remember this is a child that was brutally murdered and thrown away like filthy trash.
        Oh Blended whatever. You are one sick humanless being.

    • Cindy

      The joke was funny, and true, regardless of the topic. get off the internet and go back to helping OJ find the REAL killer of his wife and Ron Goldman..

    • Liz

      There is a time and place for jokes, but now is not the time or place.

    • Douche

      on the contrary, Dead Baby jokes are all the rage

    • Dani

      It’s been a while since Leno was funny. He used to be the late night, but not anymore.

    • Mark

      Remember, this is a man who still thinks O.J. jokes (and jokes about the murder of two people) are funny.

    • Noah

      Context! Child murder can be very funny in the right context! You need to have a good joke and an audience ready to hear it. You also need to tell it well. MWC, humor is all subjective.

    • Summer

      He’s…supposed to be funny?

  • BigC

    Doesn’t Jay Leno always bomb? His most popular bits aren’t even written; Headlines and Jay-Walking are all from every day people. That’s lazy.

    • Karate Pants

      Extraordinarily pathetic to have someone flip on the “applause” sign and immediately repeat a tasteless joke that bombed the first time.
      Leno sucks!

      • Kat

        Well, I’d agree…but there did seem to be some weird feedback or echo stuff going on as he said the joke, which (unless it was added later for purposes of repeats, to justify the audience silence) would suggest that maybe something went wrong. Leno seemed to realize before he even gave the audience time to laugh that something was wrong and he turned to ask the band guy about it. So I don’t know. I do NOT like Leno, and the jokes really weren’t funny, but his audience has to be used to that. I kind of think, after watching the video, that it sort of does seem like they just didn’t hear the joke. These people laughed at a “debt ceiling fan” joke. I’d believe that if they had heard it properly, they would totally have laughed at a Casey Anthony jury joke without too much prompting. Seriously, these people don’t have high standards in general.

      • Ann

        @Kat, I agree with you. There was feedback from the mics. The audience didn’t hear the joke, because if they had…they would have laughed, like how they laugh at all other jokes no matter how funny or lame. Television audiences are always told to laugh and applaud loudly…so there definitely was something wrong with the mic. EW’s Ken Tucker is making too much of a big deal out of this minor incident. It’s obvious that Ken Tucker is on Team Coco…who, incidently, is getting pretty lousy ratings. Where is all that fan support now?

      • DC

        @Kat you are the most intelligent poster here… If you watch leno consistently and know what to expect. The audience laughed at the 1st joke and not the 2nd. It’s just comedy and not shocking coming from Jay.

        He was trying to be edgy and it bombed. Big deal and move on.

      • Squishmar

        Leno is nothing if not an old pro. Certainly he would not repeat a joke that flat out bombed. He’s not an idiot… just stale.

    • gary middleton

      No, and he didn’t even bomb on this occasion.

  • Tawny Jones

    Leno & all those late-night “comics” are a bunch of sad, sick little jerks. Who needs them?

    • Sara

      I agree, except for Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Fallon.

      • Steve

        Jimmy Fallon is lame, never was funny, not even on SNL

    • TeamStewbert

      I disagree. Not all them, as you say, “sad, little jerks.” Stewart and Colbert are pretty funny. They give their opinions on the daily happenings in smart and

      • TeamStewbert

        … witty.

  • jp

    Jay Leno: King Douchebag of Douchebag mountain.

    • Kelly

      I second that,,,too funny! You should fill in for him!

  • PJ

    Wow Ken, two articles on Casey Anthony? I’d lump you with the media that you criticize in your other article.

    • anon

      Not quite, considering his coverage has been about the coverage about Casey Anthony, not directly about the trial and not flourishing with biased opinions pertaining to the case itself.

      • Al

        It is actually worse because he pretends that he is above it.

      • KLH

        Hi Al. Ever since he dissed Farrah I have nothing but loathing for Ken. And I agree with you. See ya tomorrow.

    • The Truth

      He is a lump none the less. Again, Pot, Kettle.

    • Lois

      This is an article on Jay Leno’s unfunny jokes, not Casey Anthony herself.

      • Squishmar

        No, this is an article that has the name “Casey Anthony” right in the title. If Ken Tucker wrote an article every time Jay’s everyday jokes were unfunny, EW would have to double their server power to accommodate the space used.

  • MrNiceGuy

    @jp: Since I watch none of them anymore I won’t argue your point. Leno must have kicked Letterman off the mountaintop.

  • rebecca

    If I didn’t dislike Leno so much I would watch the video and give an honest answer, but I really don’t like him and I won’t suffer through a few minutes of his horrible voice and jokes just to give a truthful answer!!

  • Phyllis

    Jay Leno not funny??? Stop the presses!!!

  • f u prick


  • Joe

    He wasn’t funny during the O.J. trial, either… I used to like the Headlines segment, but that’s not enough to make me watch him anymore.

    • Squishmar

      That’s all I’ve liked for years. I stopped watching it since he’s been back. I’ve watched every single Conan show online, though.

      • BOTR

        I haven’t watched a second of the Tonight Show since he came back, but I read somewhere that he doesn’t do it as often as he used to.

  • Elizabeth

    Regardless if Stewart/Colbert weren’t on vacation, this isn’t something to add to the mix for monologues. Not the same day, if ever.

    The smart satirists will have their day when they can mock the ensuing media blitz.

    • Victor the Crab

      Oh yeah!

    • Bryce

      Stewart couldn’t be funny even if he was the only comedian in the business. He just goes around repeating the same crap that every other original comedian already said.

      • Emjay

        Riiiight. Now Henny Youngman; THAT was a funny guy.

      • pat

        Anyone who thinks Stewart is not funny is either unsmart or never watches him. He is the funniest of them all – Maher is a close second.

  • SLB

    It’s not the material. It’s Jay Leno. He’s not funny.

  • Toni

    I thought Jay was very inappropiate during the OJ trial with his Dancing Ito’s. I stopped watching him then. I had alot of respect for Letterman because he stayed away from the OJ trial, he said it was a double murder not a subject for jokes. Looks like Leno didn’t learn any lessons since then.

    • Say What?

      But according to the defense and the jury, there was no murder! So what is the issue. Oh, you don’t believe it? That is the point.

    • Keeping it real

      How can anyone have respect for a crass person like Letterman who makes rude, sexist,crass jokes about a 13 year old little girl as Letterman did about Palin’s daughter when he said she was “knocked up by A-rod when she accomanied Sarah to a baseball game! Yeah..real class that! NOT!!

      • Mephysto

        Aren’t You late for your tea bagging session?

      • Justsayin

        Cause in the palin family a 13 yr old girl getting knocked up isnt entirely out of the realm of possibility that’s how. If it gets her mom in the headlines and on the news it’s all good. Besides being a unwed teen mom can be very lucrative.. just ask bristol.

      • duh

        Letterman was referring to Bristol, not the younger one. But Palin just likes to play the victim and doesn’t mind using her kids as props in her little games she plays with the uninformed morons who support her. Keep buying her books that she doesn’t write, nitwit.

  • Hey Now!!!!

    I actually thought the O.J. Jury joke was pretty funny!!!

  • ‘Lish

    Conan kicks Leno’s a$$.

    • czar

      FINALLY! thank u 4 stating the truth

      • Doug

        Dismaying? What child was murdered? Charge the grandparents with covering up a child drowning in an unwatched swimming pool.

      • Missy

        Yes, one-third of Americans are gullible like Doug and don’t know when defense lawyers are telling complete fabrications.

    • Kilovolt

      Conan is as funny as Timothy Geithner.

    • Myrtle

      Chelsea Handler kicks Conan’s ass. Conan’s ratings are in free fall. Team Coco should launch a campaign to watch Conan. TBS about to cancel him.

      • Thornton

        Chelsea Handler looks likes she takes baths out of a sink and brushes her teeth with vodka…

      • Missy

        If he didn’t have his hands tied behind his back by having his creative intellectual property rights taken from him by NBC, he would be doing just fine. I mostly enjoy Chelsea’s show for what it is, but she can’t even read her cue cards or teleprompter.

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