Prior to the Conan-Leno late night debacle, and even before Leno pushed Letterman out of the running to become host of The Tonight Show, there was another man who got the infamous Jay Leno treatment. Or so he claims.
Back in 1984 Leigh Savidge produced a live tape of a comedy competition featuring a young Jay Leno – at the top of his stand-up game – as the host of the night’s events. Savidge shopped the tape around to television networks with Leno’s blessing and received offers from a few stations for the broadcast rights.
And then the hammer came down. Leno’s manager managed to block all agreements between Savidge and the networks with threatening phone calls.
“Jay decided he didn’t want his act overexposed on cable TV so I got steam-rolled over by the Leno machine. I was probably one of the first guys to get Lenoed,” says Savidge.
After years of legal battles The 1984 Los Angeles Comedy Competition is finally seeing the light of day. On July 13 Leigh Savidge’s own Xenon pictures will be releasing the show to the public for the first time on DVD, which also features stand-up performances by Ray Combs, Howie Gold, Jeff Gerbino, and Steve Oedekerk as well as a panel of celebrity judges, including Fred Willard.
To promote the release of the DVD, Mr. Savidge has created an animated viral video and song depicting his Lenoed moment. Of course, the video also includes the moment where Leno claims no responsibility for blocking the original show’s broadcast and saying it was a “tough break” for Savidge.
Check it out and let us know what you think. Did Savidge really get Lenoed? Or is he just now trying to capitalize on the incredibly popular Leno/Conan scandal?