Headlines (Jay Leno)

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Leno doing Headlines on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2010.

Headlines was a segment that aired weekly on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. It also aired on the prime-time spin-off The Jay Leno Show. The segment usually aired on Monday night. It was first seen in 1987, when Jay Leno was still a guest host on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Viewers submit newspaper headlines from all over the world, and the headlines usually contain a misspelled word or badly structured sentences that comically (and often in an unintentionally risqué way) completely change the meaning of what the writer is trying to say.

Influence[edit]

Since the early 1980s, David Letterman has been doing a similar segment called "Small Town News" (albeit on and off) on The David Letterman Show, Late Night with David Letterman and Late Show with David Letterman. Conan O'Brien parodied "Headlines" on Late Night with Conan O'Brien in a segment called Actual Items, which uses advertisements purposefully doctored by the show's prop and writing staffs.

On December 18, 2006, both Letterman and Leno included in their segments an item in The Dallas Morning News about Letterman, which included a photograph of Leno.[1]

In January 2010, during the replacement of O'Brien as Tonight Show host, Letterman ran a fake promo (featuring former Tonight announcer Edd Hall) for the return of Leno to The Tonight Show, referring to "Headlines" as "the bit [Leno] stole from Letterman's late-night show".[2]

Publications[edit]

Leno released several compilations of Headlines during the late 1980s and early 1990s:

  • Headlines: Real but Ridiculous Headlines from America's Newspapers
  • More Headlines
  • Headlines III: Not The Movie, Still The Book
  • Headlines IV: The Next Generation
  • Jay Leno's Police Blotter: Real-Life Crime Headlines

Wil B. Strange includes "personal ads from the book 'Jay Leno's Headlines'" in an issue of Campus Life.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Headlines: Letterman has never looked better!". 
    "The Wahoo Gazette". December 18, 2006. 
  2. ^ "E! Online". 
  3. ^ Wil B. Strange, "Strange World," Campus Life 53.4 (Nov94): 78.