With Jay Leno on his way out this week as the host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” the Center for Media Affairs at George Mason University has analyzed his opening monologues to assess which public figures bore the brunt of his jokes.
EW.com’s Inside TV reports that Leno’s favorite target was former President Bill Clinton, according to the study, which found that one out of every 10 political jokes that Leno told from 1992 to 2014 was about Clinton.
“Leno’s monologues focused on power and scandal, and Bill Clinton was the top two-fer,” the Center for Media Affairs’ Professor Robert Lichter said.
The center studied 43,892 jokes about public affairs and public figures during that time. Clinton figured in 4,601 jokes, making him the lead target. Democrats were the targets of 10,885 jokes, or 15% more than the jokes told at Republicans’ expense.
Here are Leno’s top 10 political targets:
1. Bill Clinton (4,607)
2. George Bush (3,239)
3. Al Gore (1,026)
4. Barack Obama (1,011)
5. Hillary Clinton (939)
6. Dick Cheney (673)
7. Monica Lewinsky (454)
8. Bob Dole (452)
9. John McCain (426)
10. Mitt Romney (361)