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.

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A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media