Headlines (Jay Leno)
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Headlines is 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 nights. It was first seen in 1987, when Leno was still a guest host on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Viewers submitted newspaper headlines or other articles from all over the world, and the clippings contain a misspelled word, juxtaposed image or badly structured sentences that comically (and often in an unintentionally risqué way) completely change the meaning of what the writer intended.
Since the early 1980s, David Letterman had 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. Jimmy Fallon includes an updated version called "Screengrabs" (which uses online media), on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
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".
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