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Review: Jay Leno begins 'Tonight Show' retirement with stand-up gig at Capitol Theatre in Clearwater

Jay Leno performs at the Capitol Theatre on Feb. 9, 2014.

Luis Santana

Jay Leno performs at the Capitol Theatre on Feb. 9, 2014.



Jay Leno, you might have heard, retired as host of the Tonight Show last week. And almost immediately wrapping his tearful final show, he hopped on a plane and came to Florida, where a string of stand-up gigs brought him to Clearwater's Capitol Theatre on Sunday.

The show was a white-hot ticket, primarily among Leno's core (read: older) fans. And while he didn't say much about the Tonigth Show, he did put on a pretty polished show. Steve Persall was there, and he writes:

Stepping out in a dark suit that could've come off NBC's rack, a purple print tie and U.S. flag lapel pin, Leno started working baby-blue right off the bat, with jokes slightly naughtier than he'd get away with on network television.

No chit-chat or shout-outs to the city or the renovated Capitol Theatre that other comics would use to fill time. Leno flipped a switch and jokes kept pouring out. It didn't matter if you'd heard before that Hugh Hefner's fiancee is "bedpanning for gold," or wondered if anyone would stop laughing at phrases like "explosive diarrhea." Leno was in his element, belching jokes like a silver-haired smokestack for 80 minutes to his adoring fans.

Click here for Steve's full review of Jay Leno in Clearwater.

[Last modified: Monday, February 10, 2014 12:02am]


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