Jay Leno’s French Obsession

Is Jay Leno afraid of the Consul General of France? First, let’s deal with his latest anti-French monologues. Before losing his writing team to the WGA strike, Jay Leno could not reign in his obsession with the surrender of June 22nd 1940. Last October 19th, he mocked French President Sarkozy’s private life, and his monologue went something like this:

“And some sad news. France’s new president, Nicolas Sarkozy, and his wife have separated. (…) I guess what happened was, Sarkozy’s wife came home early one night, and caught the French president surrendering to a German woman.”

Fast forward to January.

During Thursday’s monologue, Jay featured a sophomoric voice-over of president Sarkozy’s press conference, supposedly speaking about his new love interest with bleeped over allusions to various sexual acts. Kevin Eubanks and his band then played the Marseillaise.

This definitely was not French-Bashing, but Leno revealed that his interest in France has now been reduced to Entertainment Tonight level fare about Nicolas Sarkozy’s love life.

A step in the right direction?

Well not exactly. While the regular readers of Miquelon.org know for instance Leno refused to meet us when we drove across America in our bid to Educate Jay, it should be pointed out that Leno – to this date – has refused to meet France’s Consul General Philippe Larrieu for lunch despite an open invitation from France’s top diplomat in Southern California.

Time for a new campaign?

Sources: New York TimesTonight Show Online Video @ NBC (US IP’s or Proxy) – LA Times – Toasting the days of wine and commerce

Update: NBC.com Community Board

9 Replies to “Jay Leno’s French Obsession”

  1. Well, you know, Jay Leno is well known to attack, I mean really attack, people when the public opinion is against those people : he was really anti-french when it was fashionable… Definitely not a proof of courage.

  2. From the Wikipedia entry:

    “Leno was born in New Rochelle, New York. His mother, Catherine (née Muir), a homemaker, was born in Greenock, Scotland and came to the United States as an eleven year-old. His father, Angelo Leno, who worked in the insurance business, was born in New York to immigrants from Flumeri, Italy.”

    Not for anything, but Italian and Scottish jokes are legendary. Does Leno taunt, mock or denigrate the Italians or Scots? Why not? Seems like riding the wave of pop culture is fine… just as long as it doesn’t strike too close to home.

    I’d be willing to bet if Leno’s audience booed or walked out after his French antics, he’d change his tune in a heartbeat. So why don’t they?

    During the Second World War – and unlike the Italians – the French were on the Allied side of Democracy over Fascism. Leno may find that a source of jokes and amusement, but others find that a source of pride and inspiration.

    French-bashing in the States is far from over.

  3. Whatever Jay Leno says about the French, I am sure he owns a Cartier watch, shops for his wife, girlfriend or else at Dior, Chanel, Vuitton or Hermes… Sometimes enjoy a good bordeaux.
    He would not turn down an invitation to stay at Antibes’ Eden Rock during Cannes film festival.
    He would also enjoy to take a break to France for private a vacation where he is TOTALLY UNKNOWN, therefore feel free to go around on his motocycle.
    I have a name for this kind of people…

  4. Why are those people so obsessed with the 1940 French defeat ?

    IMHO, it speaks volumes about their won insecurities ragarding the Iraq occupation, the defeat in Vietnam and the humiliation in Somalia.

  5. “French surrender again:”

    They are really obsessed with that shit.
    It’s as if every time the US came up in a conservation we mentioned that americans used to lynch black people. That’s crazy.

    The French surrendered in 1940 against the Germans like everyone else who fought the Germans in 1940.
    Like the US would have surrendered if they hadn’t been protected by a freaking ocean and like Britiain if they hadn’t been protected by the Channel.

    France was fighting wars and winning them, hence why France is the biggest western european country, hundreds of years before the US was created.

    They should shut their fat mouths and stop spitting on the tombs of our forefathers lest they be reminded of their humiliating defeat in Vietnam and soon Iraq.

    Germany surrendered twice by the way. In WWI in WWII. Funny they never mention that that at the end of the war France was seated at the victor’s tables after mmuch suffering and bloodshed, the likes of which americans can only envision in their worst nightmares.

  6. There is indeed an American obsession with the 1940 surrender. Some of it is a collective memory of that shocking event at the beginning of World War II, part of it stems from a “Monday Quarterback” approach to historical commentary.

    Concerning the so-called “French military history” that was widely circulated on the Web and Usenet, the origin of the text has never fully been established, and is probably of suspicious origins. Psyops ?

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