Leno Headline joke

I have no idea when this Headline aired, but it has been used for a Tonight Show promo that I wound up seeing over and over again recently.

I found it on the NBC website. The joke is “here’s an ad for a smoke alarm… with a silencer!” Ha ha.

Now, here’s the question… Is there actually anything funny about a smoke alarm with a silencer? Any of you think that’s amusing?

As a person with a smoke alarm near his kitchen, I am sensitive to the fact that an occasional smoky cooking incident will set of the alarm. These nuisance alarms are really irritating, and I’m thankful that it’s possible to silence the alarm temporarily when I burn some toast. I also believe most smoke alarms these days include a nuisance alarm silence function, some even can be activated by a remote control.

A followup question, if this is simply a stupid joke that makes no sense, why would they feature it on a promo? Is this really the best headline he’s had in the last 6 months? I can forgive a joke that bombs, I cannot forgive shoving it in my face over and over, as though it’s a reason to tune into his show.

*I was catching up with Grimm through On Demand, and fast forward was locked out. They played this promo at least 3 times per episode, so I got to see this ad roughly 50 times over the last month.

I’ve seen that one, too. And no, it’s not funny in the least. But it’s Jay Leno, so it’s about what I’d expect.

Krusty: Have you ever noticed how there are two phone books? A white one and a yellow one? What’s the deal with that?
Lisa: One’s residential the other is business
Krusty: Well that… makes sense… what’ll they think of next? Blue pages?
Marge: They have those. They’re Government listings
Krusty: I see

It is funny. Not in any big way. It’s the type of thing Stephen Wright could work into an act. Just an incongruous statement.

Now with Leno, it’s easy to imagine he actually likes the idea and hopes to see people burn to death as a result of silencing their smoke alarm. I’m sure that’s what he meant. But for some other comic, it’s a minimally humorous bit.

In LenoWorld:

"But…why would you hire a chef who burns things? Besides, the ventilation in your 1,200 square foot kitchen should be more than enough to prevent any cooking incidents from setting off the smoke alarm!

No, the silencer is just dumb – I’m keeping it in the bit".

It was funny when The Onion did it for one of their joke gift boxes: the “sounds of the rainforest” smoke alarm complete with snooze button so you can “wake up to your next fire calm and refreshed!” But Leno is a hack; he not only stole the joke, it sounds like he murdered it, too.

It’s the high-pitched giggle at the end that killed it.

The joke is that a lot of people envision the silencer the way people use the snooze alarm: blearily get up, turn off the alarm, and go back to bed, not even smelling the smoke. The fact that there may be a legit reason to have such a thing doesn’t really occur to them (and, in fact, they may STILL think it a safety hazard or something to have a smoke alarm you can just turn off).

So I’m willing to forgive, UNLIKE the time he/the writers apparently didn’t know that “Waffulls” were not, in fact, misspelled, but an actual (though admittedly dumb) product name.

Considering it’s a Headline, and therefore something actually printed in a real publication, there’s really nothing to “steal.”

I disagree. I think he just found a real-life prop and had to stretch to make the joke. YMMV, though.

Your theory makes no sense, A Monkey With a Gun, particularly since that Onion thing is from 2007. Not everybody in comedy is aware of every other joke told by every other comedian.

<hijack> I once sent a headline to Leno which he actually used on the air. “It’s Always Best To Avoid Killer Bee Hives.” I had thought it was hilarious just for the “duh” factor. It received a rather… tepid reaction from the audience. </hijack>

I believe that was part of Leno’s “stupid headlines” shitck. Someone made an smoke alarm with a silencer. Someone advertised a smoke alarm with a silencer. Someone sent the ad to Leno’s people. Leno added it to dozen other stupid items and aired it.

The advertizing group at NBC then added this to it’s current promotion of the Leno show. This highest rated show of it’s kind in it’s time slot. NBC bought time during the Grimm OnDemand telecast. You watched several episodes of Grimm that aired the same NBC ads.

If you really have a problem with what NBC puts in the commercials or how often they’re aired, maybe should be talking to NBC.

Maybe “steal” is the wrong word. He’s not Carlos Mencia, I’ll give him that. But the guy is a professional comedian so he may very well have seen The Onion before he got the submission, and I just think that his writing comes from the philosophy of “gee, other comedians are just killing with airline peanuts - I’ll do something along those lines”. So maybe not stealing, but not exactly original.

All I’m really trying to say is that I’ve seen pretty much the exact same joke before, and it was done better the first time.

I agree that that’s not a very original approach. A joke about a smoke alarm with a silencer is a lot more specific than that, though, and I think it’s unlikely Leno and his staff were referencing or remembering a similar sight gag The Onion did in 2007.

doorhinge, my problem (miniscule as it is) is with Leno and his writers, for thinking a silencer on a smoke alarm is stupid, and the producer of that promo who thought that was the best example of a stupid headline to entice people to watch the show. The only way it’s funny is if you have no idea why there’s a silencer on it, and have never lived in an actual house with a functioning smoke alarm, because they almost all have nuisance alarms once in a while.

I have no problem with NBC and the OnDemand telecast, I don’t even mind the disabling of fast forward, I got to see the whole season on my terms, they deserve to make money on the deal.

In fact, this ad started to become a meta-joke in our house. By the 5th or 6th show of the season, when the ad came on, my wife knew exactly what I was thinking (WTF?) and we’d start laughing about how much it bugged me.

I saw this when it aired. No, it wasn’t the funniest bit. It’s kinda lame. The premise is that a smoke alarm is supposed to be loud, so why would it need a setting that isn’t loud? Not hilarious.

But it was a real product, a real ad, and Jay didn’t make up the joke. It was from “Headlines”, so this was an ad that was sent to him by a viewer. Therefore, there was at least one other person not related to the Tonight Show staff that found it funny.

I have no idea how NBC selected the bits for their Tonight Show promo. That ad has several lame or inexplicable bits. There are funnier things every night on the show than on most of that commercial. It’s like the ad writer was secretly a Conan fan or something. And yes, I watched a couple episodes of Grimm OnDemand, and also had to sit through that promo way too many times.

Like I said, he didn’t steal anything. Some viewer saw the ad, and sent it to him. There’s no copying involved. There’s saying “Hey, that’s funny.” Apparently he thought it was funnier than most of us do.

Oh, please. Who reads The Onion anymore? I only hear about it when someone else cites it. I can totally see the staff of The Tonight Show being entirely too busy making up jokes to go checking The Onion.

Well, sometimes there are things whose idea has come. Like that guy who invented Calculus, but didn’t get as much attention as the other guy that invented Calculus. Or the guy (Alfred Russel Wallace) who came up with an idea about how evolution works, only to get trumped because Darwin said he’d been working on exactly the same idea for a couple decades.

Fine. I take it back. Jay Leno did not steal the bit.

Everybody happy, now?

I’ve never had a smoke alarm with a silencer. In fact, I didn’t know such a thing existed. I agree the joke is far from hilarious and have never seen the promo or original spot, despite being a regular Leno watcher. But I immediately “got” the joke and probably would have at least smirked if I heard Leno deliver it “… with a SILENCER!!”
Not to take the piss, but the OP struck me as so odd that in my mind I heard it being asked in Sheldon Cooper’s voice. I will agree that I can see the practicallity of such a function. I’ve disconnected the alarm in my kitchen for precisely the issue the OP brings up.