This Supercut of Movie Characters Watching Jay Leno Joke About Their Lives Is Perfect

Look out for Jay Limo!

jay leno supercut
'Mad City' | Warner Bros.
'Mad City' | Warner Bros.

Imagine you're a movie character going through the worst moment of your life, a real emotional low-point where you're questioning everything, and you flip on the TV to see what's going on in the world, maybe take your mind off the crushing circumstances of your existence, and there's Jay Leno, the goofy host of The Tonight Show on NBC. Thank god -- some levity. But he's not riffing on the latest news about Bill Clinton or laughing with bandleader Kevin Eubanks, he's telling a monologue joke specifically about your sorry-ass life. How uniquely humiliating! 

You've seen it in movies -- now experience it over and over in supercut form. Yesterday, Twitter user Buck LePard posted a supercut with a very simple description: "Movie characters watching Jay Leno talk about what is happening in the movie." Just watch it for yourself.

What a trip down memory lane, a perfect encapsulation of this very specific movie trope from Leno's reign of late-night terror from 1992 through 2014. Part of what's funny about the clip is just how unhappy everyone looks as they watch Leno deliver his material, powerless in the face of a media machine that chops up every scandal into monologue fodder. It's a mundane yet potent fear: You're the national punchline. 

Who gets targeted by Leno's wit? In addition to movies about the perils of presidential politics like The President's Daughter, Dave, and Wag the Dog, you also get stories of a guy building a rocket in his backyard (Billy Bob Thornton in The Astronaut Farmer) and a washed-up baseball player making a comeback (Bernie Mac in Mr. 3000). And, yep, there's even a clip from Cars. The internet used to be filled with supercuts like this, bizarre and revealing bits of ephemera created for fun, but I haven't seen one this good in a while, so enjoy it while you still can. The modern equivalent where characters find out they're "trending on Twitter" will be less funny. 

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Dan Jackson is a senior staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment. He's on Twitter @danielvjackson.