If Comcast and NBC thought Jay Leno would open his Monday monologue without mentioning the layoffs to his staff, they were sorely mistaken. Leno opened the show last night with, “Welcome to ‘The Tonight Show,’ or as Comcast calls us, ‘The Expendables!'”
He then turned his sights on NBC, saying, “We’ve consistently been number one in the ratings, and if you know anything about our network, that kind of thing is frowned upon.”
He wasn’t finished.
“And more bad news, turns out now we’ve been taken over by Bain Capital!” Leno continued. “See, I knew something was going on. Friday morning, I woke up and there was a peacock head in my bed.”
He ended the monologue saying that while it’s still free to get into “The Tonight Show,” it’s going to cost $100 to get out.
While the show may consistently top the late night ratings, its high production cost limits profitability, leading to the budget cut.
Over the weekend Comcast laid off roughly two dozen “Tonight Show” employees—nearly 10 per cent of the staff. The actor reportedly took a hefty pay cut of his $25-30 million salary to save as many additional employees as he could.
The show’s weekly budget was reportedly never significantly reduced after returning from the failed “Jay Leno Show” primetime program.
Watch Leno’s monologue below:
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