This past Sunday I took a journey behind the curtain of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I confess it was uncharted territory for me as I was always in bed when the Tonight Show theme was struck. My guide was Dave Berg author of the new book, BEHIND THE CURTAIN:AN INSIDER’S VIEW OF JAY LENO’S TONIGHT SHOW. When he was hired by Jay it was uncharted territory for Mr. Berg as well. A recently unemployed News Producer/Writer at NBC he applied for the job more out of need than anything else. Surprise, he was hired knowing nothing about the traditional “Stars” that were a staple of late night T.V. What he brought to the show was a newsman’s understanding of politics,sports and how to get guests from these worlds.One example we talked about was a long and successful pursuit to get First Lady Laura Bush on the Show. Following Johnny Carson into the the host chair and the Show was a daunting task for all concerned. While very much alive, Johnny was a “ghost” haunting the new residents of the show’s studio.What would Johnny think or do were questions in the back of everybody’s mind. Like many “victims” of “hauntings” they eventually moved. It was interesting to learn of the time and effort that Jay put into his monologue. Some times going as long as fourteen minutes they were carefully constructed pieces of of comedy with bite. Like a slide show of my journey this is but some of what were the highlights for me. Perhaps the greatest highlight of all was learning that Jay was what he seemed, a truly nice guy. While I will never understand those who visit late night T.V.on a regular basis, I prefer sleep, it was instructive to visit the world of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.


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