"Jay Leno knows a thing or two about late-night TV.
"The veteran comic didn't just host NBC's "The Tonight Show" for more than 20 years. He took the baton directly from Johnny Carson, the man whose very name is synonymous with late-night excellence.
"So when Leno speaks, comedians should listen. Here's betting they won't, at least this time around.
"Leno was interviewedThe New York Timesabout the late-night landscape in general and Jimmy Fallon in particular. Fallon replaced Leno on "The Tonight Show," and for a while replicated Leno's ratings success.
"Then along came Trump.
"Suddenly, Fallon's mostly apolitical shtick became "problematic" for many critics. And, to be fair, Fallon watched as the mean-spirited barbs thrown at President Donald Trump by his colleagues boosted their ratings. Considerably, in the case of Stephen Colbert of "The Late Show" fame.
"Yet Leno isn't ready to slam Fallon for his stance. In fact, just the opposite. He says Fallon carries the Carson torch more than "anybody in a long time." Carson famously played it down the middle, politically speaking. Leno says that approach is missing from today's late-night crew." . . .
*Remember thatrodeo clownwho got fired for poking fun at President Barack Obama in one of his live sketches? That performer got a lifetime ban from that particular rodeo, too, along with some death threats.
"Why? He targeted President Obama, a politician the culture overlords said was mostly off limits.
Stupid Biographer Tricks"Now, compare that to President Trump. Few, if any, media outlets would rise up to defend Trump against a similar attack. We're seeing that play out right now. Or, more specifically, not play out.
"Sarah Palin. Paul Ryan. Mitt Romney. They all got viciously attacked at various points in their political careers. Few, if any, of the folks who slammed them suffered any consequences." . . .
"Today's late-night humorists won't follow Johnny Carson's template when it comes to the current presidential election.
"Carson famously stayed bipartisan with his yuks. To do anything else, he argued, meant potentially losing half his audience. He stayed true to that philosophy, shaping a legendary late-night run in the process. His immediate successor, Jay Leno, stayed true to that mantra." . . .
That means more funny business for her late night court jesters. Chances are, Kimmel and co. will be savaging her critics far more than the candidate herself in the days and weeks to come.