Leno Steals Bit, Then Gives Credit In a Way Few Would Know

Dec 1, 2010  •  Post A Comment

Jay Leno stole a video bit he used  on the "Tonight" show recently, Tracy Phillips of Fancast reports.

According to the article, "On Monday’s episode featuring guest Taylor Swift, Leno aired a hilarious montage of the singer and her ’surprised’ reactions to winning her many awards. ‘We put together a little montage of you being surprised,’ Leno told the country sweetheart."

However, the article then goes on to say that the montage was actually found on the Internet and compiled by Rich Juzwiak and Kate Spencer. In a blog post Juzwiak wrote, according to the article, "Sean O’Rourke, a research coordinator for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno reached out to me for permission to show my Taylor Swift Is Surprised video during an upcoming sit-down interview with the pop star … Sean assured me I and/or my blog would get credit. What surprised me the most wasn’t so much that Kate and I weren’t mentioned, but that the video wasn’t credited as having originated on the Internet. This is not an obscure work — it’s racked up over 200,000 views in a week! I thought at the very least, he’d give and indication of this thing’s preexistence so that his viewers could hunt it down if they were so inclined. That was, apparently, expecting too much."

TVWeek would have assumed that once Leno was apprised of the situation that he would have apologized from his desk the next night and would have given credit where credit was due.

But that’s not what happened. Instead, at the end of the next night’s show the appropriate credit for the video montage was included in the end credits of the "Tonight" show. As most of us know, not a lot of folks who aren’t in the business pay attention to those end credits. Here’s Leno showing the video montage:



  1. We are SORRY! Totally misleading headline.
    Should read…some staffer at Leno goofed up!

  2. This should surprise no one. Leno is one of the absolute worst Hollywood phony opportunists that has ever graced the limelight!

  3. We’ve all heard it before: there’s nothing new in comedy. Conan stole from Letterman who stole from Ernie Kovacs and Steve Allen. And on and on. But each had enough talent to put their own spin on the comedy stylings that came before him. What Leno does,though, is criminal. And his attitude is that he’s above it all. I mean, isn’t this Taylor Swift thing plagiarism? Taking credit for someone else’s work? It’s what thieves to. It’s what hacks do.

  4. No sir, I don’t like it. And I don’t like him.

  5. leno and his staff are a-holes. leno should retire. hes no longer innovative. conan and kimmel rule!!

  6. Carson was the worst thief, but hardly anyone called him on it, though they grumbled quietly. Aunt Blabby was Jonathan Winter’s Maude Frickert (no adaptation at all), Art Fern was Jackie Gleason’s pitchman character (very little adaptation), Karnac was Steve Allen’s Question Man (a lot of added comedy with that adaptation but the same idea).
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, unless you have it in for Leno. Conan lovers are still bitter than O’Brien couldn’t beat Letterman, so they blame Leno. Instead they should be incredulous that Conan’s agents forgot to specify the time-period of the program “after the late local news” as had been done by all others in the late-night seat. Poor Conan: $40 million severance pay. Cry me a river.

  7. Yaeh…but isn’t Taylor cute?

  8. Leno says “we put together” a montage, blah, blah.
    It is unconscionable that he would say that.
    Maybe since he saw it on the internet, he can lay claim? Not sure I get the logic.
    If that’s the case, I guess I can say I wrote “War and Peace” since I read it once…

  9. Not to rush to Jay’s defense, but the way this usually works is the staffer, perhaps even the original one who contacted Juzwiak, comes to Leno with the clip and says “Hey, we should use this.”
    Leno then would think that his staff came up with it.

  10. Most likely Leno had no clue. He may have assumed his staff did the montage. Actually, Leno may not at all about the whole situation, including the end credits the next night. His co-executive producer should have known about the video.

  11. Jay clearly says “a piece we put together” that is not correct. Saying Leno had no clue is BS. He is one of the most involved hosts with everything on that show. And if he didn’t know, he should have said so the next night and apologized.

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