Leno lampoons Taoiseach as a ‘drunken moron’

HIS congestion may have cleared but the hangover from the Taoiseach’s ill-advised radio interview the morning after the Fianna Fáil shindig in Galway continues with a devastating lampoon on a top-rated US TV chat show in which he was branded a “drunken moron”.

Host Jay Leno mercilessly mocked Brian Cowen on his late-night Tonight Show, making him the subject of a game in which he invited the audience to view a less-than-complimentary photograph of the Taoiseach and guess what he did for a living.

The options were a bartender, a politician or a comedian, and the audience was urged to shout, whistle and applaud loudly at the answer they believed to be correct. They shouted loudest at the politician option and laughed heartily when Leno confirmed in a mock Irish accent this indeed was “the prime minister of Ireland”. He went on to remark: “It’s so nice to know we’re not the only country with drunken morons.”

The show aired on the NBC network in the US to over four million viewers last Wednesday night and was rebroadcast to millions more here and worldwide on NBC’s Europe and Asia channels, CNBC, on Thursday night and over the weekend.

The 42-second clip can be viewed on YouTube, where there were several thousand hits yesterday, and it is being discussed on internet chatrooms and on Twitter.

The Tonight Show is the top-rated late-night chat show in the US among the key 18-49 age group, with Leno mixing political satire with celebrity interviews and beginning each programme with a monologue on news events. His script last Wednesday also included jibes about socialite Paris Hilton’s cocaine arrest, Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell’s campaign against masturbation and Iranian prime minister Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denunciation of capitalism.

CNBC carries mainly business and financial news and is considered mandatory viewing for those watching the world’s markets.

A spokesman for Mr Cowen said he would be making no comment on the matter.


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