Jay Leno’s joke tying Casey Anthony jury to Obama’s economic team: So funny the audience forgot to laugh

Leno With the Fourth of July kicking off the week, most late-night TV hosts in America decided to take the full week off. But not Jay Leno. Of course not. Self-described workaholic Leno is all-new this week with The Tonight Show, which meant he got to have yesterday's big Casey Anthony news pretty much to himself.

So what did Leno do? He compared the jury in her murder trial to Obama's economic team. Guess how well that went over. No, really. Guess.

C'mon. Guess!

Oh, you read the headline did you? Good job, readers! That's correct: The audience was stunned into silence. Leno thought it was because his mic went out, but it didn't, so the band quickly covered for him, suggesting he tell the joke again. This time, the audience hooted and cheered on cue.

Leno's monologue from last night also included a more well-received comparison to O.J. Simpson, as well as Leno's Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation. The Anthony/Obama joke happens a little more than one minute in. Roll it.


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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4 thoughts on “Jay Leno’s joke tying Casey Anthony jury to Obama’s economic team: So funny the audience forgot to laugh

  1. I am the last person to stick up for Leno ever. BUT. In his defense, there WAS an audio problem with the mic- some kind of echo/feedback thing happened about halfway through the “joke” (not to mention several audience members making weird sounds that were halfway between “Nooooooo!” and “Booooo!” ). All of that is really distracting when you’re performing in a club, and multiply that by the fact that you are on national television, taping in front of a live audience. You have to wonder if the whole thing is fucked up and you have to do it over. He clearly heard it all, felt weird about it, and quit on the joke halfway through, knowing there was a problem, but not what that problem was. And all of those things combine to freak out a live television audience enough for there to just be a weird moment hanging in the air.
    That said, “President Obama’s economic team is only the second most clueless people in America?” Did he just cut “group of” because it took up too much time to say? At first I thought that was a grammatical mistake he made the second time because he was flustered, a la “Cay-thee Anthony,” but he said it exactly that way the first time too. Ugh.
    I am done.

  2. Yeah, I thought about putting in some sort of qualifier about the hiccup in feedback — I actually watched it when it aired on TV on the East Coast and played it back on my TV a couple of times before listening again a couple of times online later (don’t ask me why I do this painstaking work!) — or that Johnny Carson used to bomb all the time in his later monologues. But I think that particular joke was so off the mark tonally that his studio audience was like, um, what, Jay? Are you really trying to make this about Obama’s economic team? Give us the O.J. reference and the Ahnold voice, please! (That’s the audience talking just then, not me). OK. Now I’m done!

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