I just took the WSFAU staff out to the Jay Leno Comedy Stimulus Plan Show for metro Detroit's unemployed. We spared every expense: The show was free. Even the parking, the Coke and a bag of Doritos were free, thanks to the sponsors.
After the crowd was warmed up by a local jazz-funk band, the show began with a surprise introduction of Leno by Kid Rock, ovations for Rock and Leno, and Leno's little dig at the Detroit City Council's controversy over his performance taking place in the 'burbs. ("Thank you, Detroit! Oh, I mean Auburn Hills!")
Leno performed about an hour and a half worth of stand-up comedy on a wide range of subjects, including politics and presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, airlines, cats and dogs, family, aging, and food and obesity. The jokes were more adult at times than what you'd hear on his Tonight Show monologue, but nothing was too offensive. Surprisingly, there were few jokes about the economy, even though the appreciative near-capacity audience was mostly made up of unemployed or underemployed persons.
He ended the show by thanking local union members "for creating the middle class" and telling the audience about his admiration for Detroit and its automotive and manufacturing history.
The show did what it was meant to do: Take Detroiters' minds off their troubles for an evening (or two; he's in town again Wednesday night).