Seven years after signing on as host of “The Tonight Show,” Jay Leno is ready to get back into the daily grind of television as the host of “You Bet Your Life,” a cover of The Tonight Show. classic quiz show hosted for years on Groucho Marx Radio and Television.
Leno’s edition of the sustainable game show tilts September 13 in syndication, distributed by Fox Corp’s Fox First Run division.
The veteran comedian has been offered the chance to host concerts on numerous game shows over the years, but Leno didn’t have much interest in a show with a lot of gameplay involved. The highlight of the original “YBYL” – which started on radio in 1947 and spread to television on NBC for a decade from 1950 to 1961 – has always been Marx’s famous quick zingers and his jokes with everyday competitors. That made him a perfect choice for Leno, who sees it as a version of his long-running “Jaywalking” interview segment that aired on “The Tonight Show” during his 22 years on NBC.
“It’s a comedy with a kind of tenuous connection to a game,” Leno said. Variety.
As with the original, contestants will be ordinary people but with quirky personalities, unusual occupations, and other colorful characteristics that Leno will explore. Another aspect of the original that will be kept is the low value of the cash winnings available to competitors. The small amount of money involved also helps to make the mood lighter. The maximum that a competitor can win is approximately $ 55,000.
“It’s not money that changes life. It’s money that changes every month, ”Leno joked.
Tom Werner, who is the executive producer of “YBYL”, pointed out that the contestants and their interaction with Leno are at the heart of the show. The producers are focused on finding “interesting and likable” people from across the country, he said. Werner and his former partner Marcy Carsey previously produced a syndicated version of “YBYL” hosted by now disgraced comedian Bill Cosby which lasted a season in syndication in 1992-93.
“My favorite moment so far is when Jay asked a candidate to nominate the four Presidents of Mount Rushmore. She said, ‘Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt.’ Jay then asked, “Which Roosevelt? The woman replied, “Is there more than one?” Said Werner.
Yes, there will always be a “secret word” of the day – a shortlisted term that, if declared by a candidate, earns them $ 100 – but no, it won’t be announced by a lowered Groucho style duck puppet. on a wire as in the original series.
A new twist will be a spinning game dubbed “The Rodney Run,” in honor of fast-talking comedian Rodney Dangerfield, which will involve contestants trying to speed through a series of jokes.
“What makes this show fun is the combination of Jay Leno’s comedy with the pairing of two strangers, each with their own unique stories, working together to earn money and prizes,” David said. Hurwitz, showrunner and executive producer.
Leno looks forward to working in a comedic style and tone that works for the early evening rather than nightclubs or comedy clubs. Especially given the troubled times, Leno’s goal is to provide good, clean pleasure.
“There is no politics here. We just want everyone to laugh at the end, ”Leno said. “It was a real selling point for Midwestern resort managers – not politics. Everyone is so angry. We need to see more fun on TV.
The return of “YBYL” also marks a reunion for Leno and his longtime “Tonight Show” conductor Kevin Eubanks. Eubanks will co-host with Leno and he wrote the show’s new theme song. The two were not at all surprised that they easily returned to their old groove even after a long break.
“There is a natural ebb and flow” to working with Eubanks, Leno said. “Comedy and jazz are very similar. It’s all about timing and you never do it the same way twice.
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