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Saturday, January 05, 2021

He’ll either fall in line or else be expelled into official scab-dom, but either way, Jay Leno will have to answer to the Writers Guild of America over his writing of a monologue for himself to open his “Tonight Show” broadcasts.

My question: Why is what he’s doing even debatable as a violation of WGA rules, when he’s the only union-member talkshow host doing it? His NBC colleague Conan O’Brien isn’t writing his own material for his show; you’d presume that he would, if Leno’s interpretation held any water. The fact that Leno’s the only one trying to pull this should invalidate the whole argument.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Leno get expelled from the WGA. I doubt he cares at this point; he’s looking at retirement in a couple of years, and a likely stint in producing to follow. He doesn’t value his union credentials even now, and will have no use for them in his post-“Late Show” career.

A wider impact could be felt by Stephen Colbert. Of all the talkshow hosts affected by the writers’ strike, Colbert is in the shakiest position, because it’s pretty clear that he’s playing a character on “The Colbert Report”. That means he’s delivering scripted lines, versus ad-hoc patter. I’m looking forward to a skirmish similar to Leno’s to come from that quarter.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 01/05/2021 07:48:54 PM
Category: TV, Celebrity, Business
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  1. Actually if you watch Colbert doing his bit during interviews you could argue that he’s capable of ad-libbing his show.

    I haven’t actually seen it to know though. Word of the day would be a problem.

    Comment by Michael Conlen — 01/06/2021 @ 05:36:57 AM

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