Jay Leno Botches Shakespeare
I don’t usually make a point to watch Jay Leno – quite the contrary. Last night, however, I caught the tail end of his new show while waiting to tune into The Daily Show on Comedy Central. A brief literary reference on Leno’s part featured a blunder that says a lot about the status of English literature in our culture.
In the segment, Leno describes various back-to-school products, among them “Books on Twitter.” Coming from Leno, the gag was slightly less unfunny than usual. It did, however, contain a rather egregious error in reference to one of the most famous literary works in the English language. At the 41:06 mark in the online version of the show, Leno summarizes the Twitter version of Hamlet as follows: “Dude hooks up with the ultimate MILF – and it turns out to be his mom!”
Um, that’s the plot of Oedipus Rex, not Hamlet. I wonder if anyone noticed.