Jay Leno’s Laugh Squad: From tastemakers to focus group?

I'm not going to give you the ins and outs of every night's episode of The Jay Leno Show — and especially not going to stoke the flames of sensationalistic speculation that the mainstream media is doing regarding Leno's fate at NBC (weren't we supposed to wait until all of the other networks went into reruns for that?). But I do feel a need to say something about his show's Laugh Squad. At first, I thought, hey, great idea giving more exposure to stand-up comedians. But the more I think, and the more I watch, I wonder, hey, wait a second. Why are Bob Read and Ross Mark asking random Internet watchers to tell them if they agree that certain up-and-coming comedians are ready for TV? I can do that, and I don't even have a job as a booker for a network TV show — which is the job Bob and Ross have had for many years, including both Leno's current and former shows, as well as Last Comic Standing. If you think they're ready for TV, put them on the TV! That's your job, isn't it? Or we now focus-grouping stand-up comedy? My apologies in advance to the two comedians cited in this video, as this isn't meant to malign your potential abilities. (Note: Click on the link above if you cannot watch Hulu, foreigners!)

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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