• Bill Clinton tops the list of Jay Leno joke targets, study says

    Jay Leno concluded his nearly 22 year-run as the host of The Tonight Show yesterday and many are celebrating his reign by remembering their favorite late-night moments (“What the hell were you thinking?!”). One group of researchers chose to take reminiscing a step further. A recent study was released by the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University that analyzed nearly 44,000 of Leno’s Tonight Show monologue jokes.

    The study tallied 43,892 jokes about public figures and current affairs from his first day behind the desk through January 24, 2014. As much as Fox News likes to complain that late-night comedians were unfair to George W. Bush, Bill Clinton far surpassed the 43rd president as the butt of most of Leno’s jokes! Clinton was the target of 10% of all of his jokes, being ripped on an astonishing 4,607 times! Bush was second with 3,239. Leno hosted the long-running late-night talk show through four presidents: from George H.W. Bush to Barack Obama. Our current President ranked 4th, just behind Clinton’s VP Al Gore.

    Celebrities got off pretty easy during the infamous opening monologue. The highest tally for any one non-political personality was 795 jokes aimed at O.J. Simpson (make that 796 after last night).

    Jay Leno handed the keys to the show for the second (and hopefully, last) time to comedian Jimmy Fallon who will move the show to New York when it begins broadcast on Feb. 17. Fallon has successfully hosted Late Night following Leno since 2009 when Conan O’Brien left the show to host The Tonight Show (before Leno came back to host a second stretch). Saturday Night Live‘s Seth Meyers will take over Late Night.

    Until then, check out the Top 20 Targets of Jay Leno’s political and celebrity jokes!

    Top 20 Political Joke Targets

    1. Bill Clinton 4607
    2. George W. Bush 3239
    3. Al Gore 1026
    4. Barack Obama 1011
    5. Hillary Clinton 939
    6. Dick Cheney 673
    7. Monica Lewinsky 454
    8. Bob Dole 452
    9. John McCain 426
    10. Mitt Romney 361
    11. John Kerry 357
    12. George H.W. Bush 343
    13. Newt Gingrich 328
    14. Sarah Palin 300
    15. Ross Perot 288
    16. Arnold Schwarzenegger 288
    17. Joe Biden 274
    18. Dan Quayle 260
    19. John Edwards 229
    20. Osama Bin Laden 216

    Top 20 Celebrity Joke Target

    1. O.J. Simpson 795
    2. Michael Jackson 505
    3. Martha Stewart 208
    4. Paris HIlton 153
    5. Lindsay Lohan 153
    6. Robert Blake 121
    7. Anna Nicole Smith
    8. Roger Clemens 50
    9. Tonya Harding 49
    10. Alex Rodriguez 49
    11. Heidi Fleiss 48
    12. Charlie Sheen 48
    13. Lance Armstrong 47
    14. Michael Vick 47
    15. Madonna 46
    16. Justin Bieber 44
    17. Brittany Spears 42
    18. Kobe Bryant 38
    19. Chris Brown 38
    20. Kim Kardashian 37
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    Billy Procida

    Laughspin editor-in-chief Billy Procida is a stand-up comedian in New York City. He hosts The Manwhore Podcast where he talks to women he's hooked up with about sex, dating, and why they didn't work out. Reach him on Twitter.

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