Was Jay Leno axed from “The Tonight Show” for telling too many Obama jokes?
Not according to Emmy Award-winning comedian Jackie Mason, who says Leno was simply the victim of having too many birthdays.
“I have no doubt that he was let go for only one reason … the same reason he was let go when they let him go a couple of years ago for this guy, [Conan] O’Brien,” Mason told Aaron Klein, host of “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on New York City’s WABC Radio.
“[O’Brien] has nothing to say and he carries on like a lunatic, and they still replaced Jay Leno with him at that time because they felt Jay Leno was too old, because they’re always aiming at the demographic [of] 20-year-old kids.”
“Now Jay Leno is the most talented comedian probably left in America and he’s the only one without a job,” Mason continued. “If you’re young and stupid, you’re a sensation. If you’re a genius but you’re over 50, you’re out of the business. Somebody would think he’s moving pianos. He’s not moving pianos; he’s just talking. What difference does it make how old you are?”
Leno had served as “The Tonight Show” host from 1992 until earlier this year, except when he was replaced by O’Brien from 2009 until 2010. In 2013, NBC announced Leno would surrender hosting “The Tonight Show” to comedian Jimmy Fallon, whose first episode as host debuted Feb. 17.
Mason is a long-time veteran of the late-night talk show, with appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “The Tonight Show,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” to name only a few.
“The main thing is to get people from 18 to 42 watching your station, and for 18 to 40, [Leno] is considered oldie,” Mason continued, on Leno’s release. “Obama had nothing to do with it; it’s all the age, it’s all the age range. The whole idea is to get the young people to watch, and they assume the 20-year-olds are buying everything and if you’re over 50 you’re buying nothing. They’re too stupid to realize that in fact the opposite is true. How many times do you see a 23-year-old person with a Rolls Royce?”
Mason’s interview with Klein went on to lampoon Obamacare, discuss the acquittal of Kerry Kennedy on drugged driving charges, and more.
Hear the entire interview below: