Jay Leno: Funny As Hell And A Mensch As Well (Updated)

Last night, Jay Leno hosted the Genesis Prize ceremony in Jerusalem. Since my invitation got lost in the mail, and I have not seen any available video of Jay’s MC’ing, I looked to the internet to get more insight into Jay’s jokes. And there were apparently some real corkers!

jay leno genesis prizeLeno’s mostly political quips included references to ongoing media reports about the strenuous relationship between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reminding the audience that May is Jewish American Heritage Month in the U.S., with Obama “calling it an opportunity to renew our ‘unbreakable bond with the nation of Israel.’ And he knows it’s unbreakable because he’s been trying to break it for the last five years.”

Leno also joked about U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s role in trying to broker peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians in recent months, explaining he did some research ahead of his visit and that “According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, here in Israel the most popular boys name is Noam. Noam is the most popular boy’s name in the country. The least popular boys name? John Kerry.”

Leno familiarized himself with local indicted headline makers for his monologue, taking shots at former President of Israel Moshe Katsav, who is currently serving a seven years sentence for rape, indecent acts, sexual harassment and obstruction of justice, saying “Israel had some great leaders, David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin. People were really touched by them. Well, of course, not as many people as were touched by former President Katsav.”

A more recent aim was former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, sentenced earlier this month to six years in prison on two counts of bribery. “You guys are tough”, quipped Leno, “You sentenced your former Prime Minister to six years in prison — did you hear Olmert’s defense? Not the best strategy. He blamed the whole thing on the Jews.”

And there’s more:

He’s hilarious.

He’s also a real mensch. Besides stating his support for Israel and the Jews, he also took time to meet with fans. And while the kid in this next video has an “important” father, you can nevertheless see from Jay’s interaction with him that he is a good guy who enjoys his fans.

Update: Some video of Jay in action.

About Aussie Dave

An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder and managing editor of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks

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Video: Jay Leno Slaying Them In Israel | Israellycool
24 June 2014 at 7:06pm
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  • Jim from Iowa

    I’m glad Jay Leno went to Israel and performed for Israelis. Whether or not Jay Leno is a good person is up for some debate. Any number of people in the business don’t have many nice things to say about Jay Leno. Personally, I thought he was a lot funnier when he did stand-up before he got the Tonight Show gig.

  • rsfan1

    That was some very funny stuff! Great job by Leno.

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