- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 11, 2018

Jay Leno said he is relieved he’s no longer hosting late-night TV, lamenting that most comedians are stuck on the same “depressing Trump stuff.”

The former “Tonight Show” host, who now leads CNBC’s docuseries “Jay Leno’s Garage,” told The Hollywood Reporter that while he “enjoyed” hosting late-night for 22 years, he’s glad he doesn’t feel pressure to bash President Trump at every opportunity.

“Late-night has always been pretty topical,” Mr. Leno said. “The only trouble is now everyone has the same topic. It’s all depressing Trump stuff. … The trouble is that there’s such negativity now.”

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“When I did the show, Bush was dumb and Clinton was horny, and it was human problems,” he said. “Now it’s all anti-women, anti-LGBT, anti-Muslim, anti-Mexican, anti-Salvadoran; it’s such a negative thing. God bless all the late-night hosts, they make it funny, but ultimately, it’s depressing. You don’t really watch late-night TV to get away from reality anymore; now it’s more in your face. You laugh but then you go to bed going, ‘Oh man, the world is really pretty rough.’ And it’s not, it’s one man that causes all these problems!”

Mr. Leno said the upside to Mr. Trump’s presidency is that it galvanized otherwise apathetic people into action.

“My wife was so depressed when Trump was elected, but I said, ‘This will be the greatest thing that ever happens to the women’s movement,’ ” he said. “Because even men who are apathetic are going, ‘Whoa, wait a minute.’ Harvey Weinstein was a catalyst, but Trump really started [the groundswell]. Seven hundred and fifty thousand women showed up for that march on three days’ notice. That was unprecedented.

“I think it’s ultimately a good thing; sometimes you have to hit people in the head with a two-by-four to make them aware,” he added. “Ultimately, something good will come out of it.”

Mr. Leno acknowledged that despite all the doom and gloom portrayed in late-night comedy, the country is actually doing “OK” under Mr. Trump.

“I like to see a silver lining, and I think that’s one of the good things that will happen. People are so incensed by Trump and what he does. But the country is actually OK — unemployment is down, people are working — so ultimately some good will come out of it,” he said.

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