Jay shut me down instantly when I suggested Rossi as a guest. He told me that The Tonight Show's producers knew from experience that racing doesn't hold the interest of mainstream American TV viewers. He cited one bad experience, which I think was Mario Andretti bombing on his show. And, he noted, "There's the accent thing." Apparently, Americans also don't like listening to guys with foreign accents. In fact, he'd learned over the decades that sports, period, didn't fly with Tonight Show viewers. "Maybe, if you can get the Superbowl-winning quarterback on the Monday after the game," Jay told me. "But even that..."
|Leno mugs with Yamaha motorcycle division honcho Henio Arcangeli.|
But now, World Championship motorcycle racing will place a guest on The Tonight Show - complete with a (mocked-up) bike appearance. The catch: Jay's guest will be Paris Hilton. Will she say anything intelligent about 'her' 125GP team? I desperately want Jay to ask her, "So Paris, tell us what you think about the upcoming transition from 125 two-strokes to Moto 3..."