Taylor Swift Bit Forces Jay Leno to Reluctantly Give Credit Where Credit is Due
Howard Stern has long shouted from the mountaintop of his satellite radio show that Jay Leno has been stealing bits for 'The Tonight Show' for years. Stern specifically mentions how his longtime 'homeless game' was transformed into 'Jaywalking,' Leno's signature franchise. Now Stern isn't the one who finds his material in the middle of 'The Tonight Show' without clear credit.
Last week, we brought you a brilliant video compilation of Taylor Swift appearing surprised at award shows, which we saw courtesy of our friends at TheFabLife.com. Turns out we weren't the only ones who fell in love with the clip. Leno's staff loved it too and a shortened version of the montage was played for Taylor Swift on 'The Tonight Show' Monday night. So Leno gave the video's creators the proper credit, right? Not exactly.
The Swift video was a collaboration between Rich Juzwiak of FourFour.Typepad.com and Kate Spencer. Juzwiak's details what happened when Leno's team saw the video in his post 'Jay Leno Ripped Me Off':
Juzwiak then goes on to explain that a shortened, higher quality version of his and Spencer's video aired during Leno's interview with Swift, with no credit for its creators.
What surprised me the most wasn't so much that Kate and I weren't mentioned, but that the video wasn't credited as having originated on the Internet. This is not an obscure work -- it's racked up over 200,000 views in a week! I thought at the very least, he'd give and indication of this thing's preexistence so that his viewers could hunt it down if they were so inclined. That was, apparently, expecting too much.
But really, the way all this went down is almost as good as if we'd been credited: a chance for righteous indignation is a gift, and I did get to see Taylor Swift's reaction to my video of her reactions, which is deliciously meta and very satisfying in its own right. Her seeming inability to see the humor in her behavior makes me feel like Kate's and my point is even more resounding. She is naive and lacking in self-awareness, it turns out without surprise. What is Jay's excuse?
Update: I heard from Sean, who chalks the matter up to the chain of communication and says that this isn't the first time that a non-Jay Leno creation has been credited as such. Go figure.Perhaps in a response to the noise on the Web, Leno and the 'Tonight' crew did air a 'blink and you'll miss it' shout-out to Juzwiak and Spencer on Tuesday's show:
Juzwiak tells the New York Times that he's not bitter. "It's preferable just in the sense that it gets me more attention," he said. "A lot more people cared. I feel like a few people would have high-fived me on Twitter if they had seen this thing go down. This reached people who don't care about Jay Leno whatsoever, who weren't watching his show anyway."
A press representative for "The Tonight Show" declined to comment further to the Times. We're already looking forward to seeing if Howard Stern catches wind of it when he returns to the air next week.
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