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Jay Leno Keeps Sense of Humor in Quake Aftermath

January 19, 1994

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ If humor is the best medicine, ″Tonight Show″ host Jay Leno wasn’t afraid to dispense a liberal amount of it in the wake of Los Angeles’ huge earthquake.

″It took forever to get to work this morning. In fact, traffic was backed up for hours - and that was just from the people in L.A. who are trying to move to Oregon,″ Leno said during his opening monologue for Tuesday’s ″Tonight Show.″

He said of Monday morning’s 6.6 quake: ″I woke up at 4:30 in the morning, doors slamming, dishes breaking ... I thought, ’How did Shannen Doherty get into my house?″

Leno also worked in a reference to the murder trial of Beverly Hills brothers Lyle and Erik Menendez.

″In fact, the quake was so bad Lyle Menendez’s toupee ended up on Eric’s head,″ he said.

Monday’s ″Tonight Show″ was canceled because of the quake.

Leno did Tuesday’s show before about 100 people, less than a quarter of the usual ″Tonight Show″ audience. NBC said fear of continuing aftershocks may have kept many from the network’s Burbank studio, which is not far from the quake’s epicenter.

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