The University of Rhode Island’s Student Entertainment Committee welcomed late night legend Jay Leno to the Ryan Center this past weekend as the main event for this year’s parents weekend.
Anxiously awaiting Leno’s arrival, the crowd chattered and snapped photos of the empty stage. On the stage sat just a stool and a microphone, illuminated with a single pink light. After much anticipation, Leno finally walked on stage, dressed in a full suit. An eruption of applause followed his introduction with both parents and students alike thrilled to see the former host of “The Tonight Show” in person.
Leno began his night of standup comedy by cracking jokes on a series of current events. He talked about some of the issues the country is currently facing with ISIS, before moving on to jokes about an inappropriately named bed that is being sold in IKEAs in Bangkok, Thailand.
Moving on, Leno began focusing his attention on how couples interact within their relationship. He opened up with a joke stating, “In a recent study on men’s brains vs. women’s brains, it was discovered that women use their brains more because their brains are located in their head.” An enthusiastic audience responded in cheers, laughing at the semi-inappropriate commentary. He continued on by saying there has been talk about changing female voices on products such as Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana to a male voice because “men are having trouble following directions from a female.”
Performing in front of an audience that was a mixture of both college students and parents, Leno had to strategically write his jokes in a way that would appeal to both demographics. He used his eccentric hand gestures and vocal variation to keep the crowd energized and entertained throughout the entire hour and a half show.
Leno continued on by addressing some of the parents in the audience, asking them about certain memories from their childhood. He discussed a personal story about not wanting to let go of his 1999 flip phone, and the smug response he received when he asked to replace the battery for it at the mobile store. This led into his next topic about how he feels America is changing, making a joke about the way Americans eat meat at restaurants. “When did meat become a condiment for meat?” he joked.
Beginning to talk about more taboo topics, Leno discussed controversy within religion before moving on to politics. He cracked a joke about the apparent divide in the country due to this year’s election, stating “50% of people think this country is divided, while the other 50% don’t.”
Leno concluded his performance in a more unconventional way, inviting audience member Robin Foote to the stage to address the crowd. Foote had wrote a letter to Leno asking to address the crowd about a matter very close to his heart. He had lost his son Colin back in 2010 to a reckless driver who ran a red light, crashing into his son on a motorcycle. The women had 19 traffic violations on her record, was addicted to drugs, and was on probation. Foote addressed the crowd, recounting his story and discussing how he was here to help try to prevent this situation from happening again. Foote started Colin’s Law and has used this organization to advocate for the installation of red light safety cameras and other safe driving technology.
Leno announced that to raise funds for Colin’s Law, he will be auctioning off the chance to fly out to Los Angeles and take a tour of his garage. For more information on Colin’s Law and to bid on this oppurtunity, go to ColinsLaw.org