Bill Clinton never went on The Tonight Show when Jay Leno was host, and a new book from the late night star’s longtime producer reveals why.
As former Tonight Show producer Dave Berg recalls in his new memoir, Behind the Curtain: An Insider’s View of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show, Clinton was the show’s coveted guest that got away.
In excerpts obtained by the New York Post, Berg explains how the show sent Clinton a $12,000 custom-made tandem bicycle as a gift following his triple-bypass surgery. But that gift was returned because then-Senator Hillary Clinton could not legally accept gifts valued more than $50 (the two-seater conceivably made it a gift for her as well).
Berg claims the show made another custom bike with only one seat, which Clinton accepted, but never granted Leno his wish to appear on the late-night show.
Clinton aides allegedly told Berg that the former president “simply didn’t like Jay’s never-ending Monica Lewinsky jokes.”
For the record, Clinton was also Leno’s top target for jokes. According to Center for Media and Public Affairs analysis of the late-night host’s tenure, he delivered 4,607 jokes about Clinton.
[h/t A.V. Club]
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