Jay Leno received a warm welcome from his fans his first night back as the host of “The Tonight Show.” According to the Nielsen ratings, Leno beat rival David Letterman with 6.6 million viewers versus “Late Show’s” 3.8 million.
When we asked msnbc.com readers what they thought of his first night back, many were pleased with what they saw.
“I'm thrilled to see Leno back, and yes ... he was of true form,” said Bobbie Shubeck of Santa Marie, Calif. “I think he is going to be better than ever.”
But not everyone thought he did well or was glad to see him back at the 11:35 p.m. spot.
“I thought he was as unfunny as ever,” said one reader. “What does Alan Greenspan have to do with anything? He hasn't been Federal Reserve chairman in four years. And Bush jokes? Does someone think time not only stood still, but moved backwards, while Jay wasn't hosting? At that rate, I'm surprised there was no OJ joke.”
“I think Leno belongs doing stand up in Vegas and Conan O'Brien belongs behind the ‘Tonight Show’ desk,” said another. “I enjoyed the ‘Tonight Show’ for years but I will no longer watch.”
Read on for more comments.
My family loved having him back at "The Tonight Show." We never liked his 10 pm slot, but we will now return to watching him. It was like wearing an old and comfortable pair of shoes! — Rodger Lum, Moraga, Calif.
He's damaged goods now. He is stale, unimaginative, and I truly hope Conan gets the same chance Dave got to go head to head with him on another network. An angry Conan is a funny Conan. — Austin Engel, Munich
When the stars come out at night, they flock to the sofas of TV’s talk shows. Here are the hosts America has lost sleep over.
trueH6falsetrue1I thought the opening portion of the show was hilarious and for many people, they would of only hoped it was a dream. Jay has always provided an excellent form of late night entertainment. He seems to take minimal time off, which offers a fresh set of shows we can count on every night. Welcome back Jay! — Anonymous
I gave it a shot last night, but the Leno show and its writers are just as an inane and derivative as ever, sorry. Back to Dave. — Hilary Brown, New Jersey
Jay is Jay. Pretty good if not a little stale. But what is up with his set? It looks like the band is 100 yards away and the set is wider than a football field. They need to bring Jay and the band closer. And the new furniture looks like cheap IKEA stuff. — Brigg Cultus, San Jose, Ark.
NBC never should have let him go in the first place. Conan O'Brien has a very unique brand of comedy that is not conducive to many fans of the Tonight Show. I have been watching it since Johnny Carson was on, and I love that Jay Leno is back where he belongs! I especially loved the "Wizard of Oz" tie-in. Very appropriate. Betty White stole it...fantastic! Keep Jay there as long as he wants the show...please! — William Ridgeway, Cabot, Ark.
Hoorayyy!! Leno is back!! Loved him! Love him still! I have my dvr back recording The Tonight Show in case I miss it. — Macy Bishop, Milwaukie, Ore.
I used to be a giant Leno fan and was sad to see him leave the Tonight Show last May. However, I was just as equally a fan of Conan. Leno has turned into a complete joke. He went from lying to us saying he was retiring, to doing the prime time show, to stealing his job back from Conan. I will never watch another Leno show. I can't wait until the next Conan O'Brien show. I'm with CoCo! — Joshua Kajune, Minot, N.D.
I have always been a Leno fan. He is the best all round true comedian who understands what "it" is. I respect him as a person and performer. Tried to go with Conan, but he just didn't have it for the Tonight Show even though I like him. I have never been a Letterman show fan although I have given it lots of chances. — Anonymous
Loved it! NBC finally grew a brain. I hated Conan and watched Jay even at 10. I was so happy to have Jay back where he belonged. All is right now. —Anonymous
I didn't watch Jay's return and I don't plan on watching TTS. The only reason I watched some of TTS in the past was because it preempted Late Night with Conan O'Brien. I no longer have a reason to watch late night TV on NBC. — Kelly Blake, Virginia Beach, Va.
Nothing against Conan, but it was good to see Leno back where he belongs. Only problem ... I was getting used to that 11:35 bedtime. — Anonymous
I'm soooo happy Jay is back on his Tonight Show, with Kevin and the ONLY Tonight Show Band. Last night's show was GREAT! I've never liked Conan O'Brien. I can't stand his looks or his style of what he thinks is humor. —Ruth Murphy, Melbourne Beach, Fla.
Leno's return was not bad. I like Conan, but Leno's humor is less edgy and more appealing to me. I thought he overdid the "plugged in" bits during his monologue, but it was still worth coming back to night after night. He's close to his old form. — Rick Kubach
Jennifer Aniston on the 'Call Me Crazy' red carpet, Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka carry their twins around NY, Even Rachel Wood shows off her baby bump, and more.
trueH6falsetrue1I thought is was great to have him back on The Tonight Show. I will go back to watching it now. Jay Leno is funny, sharp and an all around entertainer. During this transition - be was professional and sincere. He is back where he belongs. — Anonymous
Same Jay. Stale targets for his jokes and creepy to every female guest. I can make that observation for every show he's ever taped. I'm through watching. So, yes, he is back to his old form. Which is why I'm going to watch something else instead. — Nick Garcia, Columbus, Ohio
I was very pleasantly surprised by Jay's return last night. It was fresh but had enough familiar bits to make it feel like a homecoming. I loved it when Jay kissed the desk....we are all happy that he is happy to be back. — Jackie McPeake, Raleigh, N.C.
I loved it. I am so happy that Jay is back where he belongs. Conan just didn't fit and I temporarily went to Letterman. I like the new set. Jamie Fox was very VERY ENERGETIC. The little jokes with the graphics in the opening monologue were dumb. — Anonymous
Leno should have opened with a heavy weight on his return to late night. President Obama, Al Sharpton, Hillary Clinton, Opra Winfrey, Dwight Howard, Prince, Tiger Woods etc. — G. Rich, San Fernando Valley, Calif.
falseThese guests tonight are not top of the heap in my opinion. I thought Jay Leno was back to his old form. Missed him on late night. His format is better at the later hour. Some of the jokes you can do at 11:35 you can't do at 10:00. I think he did great and will reclaim his title as the "King of Late Night". — Sandy Beach, Spring Hill
I am glad to see Jay back. I never really thought that it made sense to replace him with Conan but hey you can't blame the network for trying something new and something they thought would bring in more ratings. — Kendra H., St. Louis, Mo.
Jay was really good. You could see he was a bit nervous when he mentioned Sarah Palin as a guest, he slipped because he said it was here going to be her 1st appearance on late night TV, Sarah Palin has already done a late night show. ... I like the way Jay started the show with the Wizard of Oz skit. Classic! Witty! Brilliant! — Manuel Andeonegui, Columbia, Tenn.
Same ol' Leno song and dance. Dave was funnier last night. — Anonymous
I am very happy to have him back at this time slot. Leno and Letterman have always been the kind of host I look forward to at the end of my day. I switch between them at commercial breaks to see who their guest are. Jay is a natural when it comes to finding some humor in almost any situation. I feel sure I speak for a great many other viewers who have missed him and welcome him back! — Rick Foster, Indy, Ind.
Leno was great! Jamie Foxx was a great choice as the first guest. I feel like the whole world is complete again. — Dustin Christensen, Seattle, Wash.
It was absolutely horrible. Same as it ever was. His humor was dryer than the Sahara and his guests were mediocre at best. — Anonymous
And suddenly, the world is right again! Nine months of agonizing insomnia is gone. Welcome back Jay. I can drift off to sweet dreams once again as your show's final credits roll. The re-debut was perfect from the opening Wizard of Oz skit, through the desk search, a super enthusiastic cheerleading Jaime Foxx, Olympic Gold Medalist Lindsey Vonn, and ending with the best country western performer of modern day, Brad Paisley. What a way to end the day. Can't believe I'm writing this but — thank you NBC. — Deb Penney, Waco, Texas