I caught a few seconds of Jay Leno when channel surfing tonight and heard a couple of jokes about Mark Foley. I have not seen Leno in months, so I don’t know how overboard he has gone on the Foley jokes, but one of them tonight did not get the reception I expected. He made a joke about network cutbacks, making sacrifices to save money. He said it had gotten so bad that network interns were applying to Mark Foley for jobs. The joke elicited groans and even a few low boos from the crowd. I don’t know whether the boos were for Foley or for the joke, but got the impression it was the latter. It made me wonder if people were just getting sick of the subject.
Leno did a joke later about the “naked backrub” a priest admitted to giving a 14-year-old Foley. That joke did receive big laughs. The premise of the joke was the priest’s claim that the backrub was inaccurately portrayed as inappropriate. Leno then asked how anyone could try to make something dirty out of a naked priest giving a backrub to a naked 14 year old. I guess that jokes based on old Foley news (pages) are wearing thin, but jokes based on new Foley news (the interviews with the priest) are still fresh. The first joke seemed a little gratuitous, while the second joke really was funny.
I only heard a fraction of the monologue, but the jokes I heard were aimed at both sides. One was about a rumor that Monica Lewinsky had “switched teams,” having been spotted with a bi-sexual British actress, and that if Hillary became president it was possible that Monica could once again be found under the desk in the Oval Office. Ouch.
I rarely catch the late night comics anymore. I probably should though because it is sad, but true, that for many Americans Leno, Letterman, Kimmel and Stewart are their main source of political news.