Deadline

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Stuttering John Becomes Jay Leno's new Announcer.

Is Leno so desperate to become edgy? Fan of Howard Stern might not bite and stay away from Leno, noting John as a sell out. Or the wholesome Midwest will stay away from fear of John being too dirty. Which he may not be, but perception is very strong.

No one watches or not watches because of the announcer, do they?

John is always great on Howard, but he has had mixed results outside his bubble. He was a panelist years ago on a now defunct TV show called "Last Call" (not the Carson Daly one). He was brought on to be the trouble maker. He came off as a lame Howard rip off.
Last night he was on "Tough Crows." He wasn't as funny as the other comics, but he held his own.

Good luck. Will Howard reject him?

'Stuttering John' joins Leno
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Associated Press
Feb. 18, 2004 01:57 PM


BURBANK, Calif. - Jay Leno's new announcer on "The Tonight Show" will be "Stuttering John" from Howard Stern's radio show.

John Melendez starts March 29, replacing Edd Hall, who's leaving the show after 12 years to concentrate on doing movies.

A spokeswoman for the Tonight Show says Melendez is working with a speech coach to control his stutter.

In addition to announcing, Melendez will be in sketches and go out on interviews. But the spokeswoman says they won't be the sort of interviews Melendez did on the Stern show.

The spokeswoman says Tonight Show executives became interested in Melendez after seeing him on the reality show "I'm A Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here." She says Melendez came across as a "peacemaker" and "family man."

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