Off-Ramp | Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

Rabe carps about Leno's dumb people shtick

I see in LA Observed today that Jay Leno is still at it, faking segments that make the general public look stupid.

Shockingly, nobody he interviews on Melrose Avenue knows where Hawaii is. Nobody who made the final cut, that is.

He did this bit at Pasadena City College many years ago, asking kids easy questions. One of the students happened to be our receptionist, whose name I can't recall. But I do remember that she was whip smart and was extremely funny with Leno. It would have been great television. Of course, she didn't make the cut.

But this happens all the time. Comedians have some pathological need to prevent anyone from outshining them. Me, I'm the host of my own show, but I love to share the stage.

1. It means less work for me.

2. The audience's happiness is my chief concern, not how good I look.

3. In any case, since listeners know whose show it is, I look better because they're going to connect me with the pleasure they experienced.

Maybe this means I'll never headline at Vegas or own 100 cool cars. So be it.

PS: I grabbed a quick interview with Leno in the parking lot after, asking him a bunch of public radio questions ("Has Carl Kasell ever been arrested?" etc.). He didn't know any of the answers. I turned it into a promo but have since lost the audio. Sorry.