Thursday marked Jay Leno’s last night hosting The Tonight Show on NBC. He’s told a lot of jokes over the years, but his most common target has been Bill Clinton — so says a study from the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University. Professor Robert Lichter explains why he’s spent more than 20 years of his life cataloging late night TV jokes.
On the eve of Jay Leno’s retirement as host of “The Tonight Show,” a new study finds that Bill Clinton was Leno’s top political joke target over the past two decades, attracting one out of every ten jokes in his monologues, and O.J. Simpson was his top celebrity target. The study was released by the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) at George Mason University (GMU). It covered 43,892 jokes about public figures and public affairs from 1992, when Jay Leno became host of the Tonight Show, through January 24, 2014.