Former late night TV host Jay Leno weighed in on the state of the late night talk shows in a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter and says he finds it "depressing". Leno pointed out that "late-night has always been pretty topical," but now "the only trouble is now everyone has the same topic;" President Donald Trump.
Leno praised the current crop of late night hosts, saying "they all do a great job," and praised them for still being funny despite all the negativity in the world. Even though they are still able to get a laugh, Leno said "ultimately, it's depressing. You don't really watch late-night TV to get away from reality anymore; now it's more in your face."
Leno isn't discouraged by Trump and thinks that despite the negativity surrounding the President, the "country is actually OK":
People are so incensed by Trump and what he does. But the country is actually OK — unemployment is down, people are working — so ultimately some good will come out of it.
Leno said he is glad to be out of the game and does not wish to find a platform to take shots at Trump. He said he is happy doing Jay Leno's Garage, which airs on CNBC, because it is "a hobby and it's fun. It's what I like to do."
Don't expect to see Leno follow in the footsteps of David Letterman, who is premiering a talk show on Netflix on January 12th. Leno said he is not interested in doing "an in-depth interview series":
Not really. I like what I'm doing. To me, I like talking to regular people and seeing what I can draw out of them. I'm sure Dave will be excellent, he always does a good show. He's such a quirky guy, I'm sure it will be terrific. But it's too close to what I used to do. And lightning doesn't usually strike twice. For some people it can; Dave is talented and I’m sure it'll do fine.