Jay Leno Takes Pay Cut; Makes Fun Of His Bosses

We all know things aren't exactly rosy over at NBC. The network did get some good news this week in the form of a new Michael J. Fox sitcom, but that means more expensive scripted shows, and that money needs to be cut from somewhere.

Late Friday night, it was revealed that those cuts came in the form of staffer jobs from The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, as 20 to 25 people lost their jobs through downsizing. According to the L.A. Times, the cuts had to do with Leno's budget being slashed from $2.3 million a week to $1.7 million. The former was the show's budget when they were in primetime, the latter being what it was before the 2009 switch.

But that's not all. According to reports, Jay Leno himself also took a pretty hefty pay cut, dropping his yearly salary down to about $20 million from the $25-$30 million it was before in order to "save as many people's jobs as he could."

Sounds like a pretty noble thing to do on Jay's part, right? Well, maybe not when you consider the fact that he rakes in another $20 million or so from personal appearances and stand-up gigs, and that he's notoriously frugal with his Tonight Show salary, stating that he's "always looked at TV as a temporary job, and then it ends, and you don't work for a long time." Even though, you know, he's been hosting the Tonight Show since 1992, and even got Conan O'Brien fired because he wasn't done hosting just yet.

No one's saying the guy should work for free, but as many measures as he took to save jobs, 25 people are still out on the streets looking for Jaywalking segments to get paid for. Take a couple of million a year at the most (still more than anyone reading this will ever see in their lives), save all the jobs and save NBC some money so they don't have to do this again. And you still have the $20 million from your appearances, and Lord-knows how much you've saved since 1992.

Instead, Jay cries foul and makes fun of Comcast and NBC, making jokes about it in his first monologue since the cuts (watch it below, if you can muster the strength to sit through a Jay Leno monologue), while he drives to the studio in his brand new 9000th car that he just purchased.

Leno claims that they're #1 in the ratings, but NBC still runs a business, and if that business isn't profitable, cuts have to be made, even if its popular. Leno's number one in the ratings but he was bleeding money.

The most ironic thing is that Jay just had Michelle Obama on his show a few days ago, as the 2012 Presidential campaign rages on about job creation and the economy.

Here's Leno's monologue, where he jokes that his show is being run by Bain capital and that his show is called "The Expendables". Don't worry, you can shut it off after about a minute when he starts making jokes about Sylvester Stallone's age:

Comments 2
Phil T's picture

"saved as many jobs as he could" while he still makes 20M. Had he dropped his salary to like 15M he could have probably kept everyones jobs. Ridiculous.

George Prax's picture

That's like saying "I cut down on fatty foods in my diets as much as I could" but you still eat three burgers a day. And on top of that he has the audacity to make fun of the people that pay him too. He did it again last night: