: TV Guide reports that Stuttering John Melendez, a fixture on the Howard Stern show, is going to be the new announcer for Jay Leno.

On the one hand, Stern caused the defection because he has been threatening to quit radio when his contract is up in two years. Who’s going to pass up a rich gig?

On the other hand, it seems like a typically tone-deaf Leno move, making a famous stutterer an announcer. John has been more than a stuttering joke for years; he’s a character for so many other reasons (his cheapness, his marriage, his gossiping, his chutzpah). If all he does is announce and stutter, that makes him into a stuttering joke again and it makes fun of stutterers for its own sake.

Leno has been stealing bits from Stern; now he’s stealing people.

Stern et al are on vacation this week; expect fun next week. MarksFriggin, Stern’s unofficial Boswell, has more thoughts. [Thanks to Ed Moltzen for the tip]

  • Andy

    I have come to dread the day after a long weekend. Everyone else gets one day off. The Stern show takes the whole week off.
    It seems as though they’re off at least one week a month.
    must be nice.

  • Scott

    If Leno is smart he’ll make him more a part of the show a la Ed McMahon.

  • Catherine

    I for one will be glad. The only time I turn him off is when a segment goes to long with some porn queen (as a woman, not interested) or when he gets into some discussion with Stuttering John. He is SO boring.

  • david

    The real issue for Howard is the letter his boss, Mel Karmazin, sent to all the GM’s of Infinity radio stations telling them to toe the line on obsenity. that means no anal ring toss, fart jokes, etc. Howard will either have to quit or spend all show complaining.

  • william

    i agree with both david and catherine…i can’t stand stuttering john and am glad he’s leaving. also i now live in friggin canada and can’t hear him because well he’s just too damn offensive for sensitive Canadian ears.

  • weimdog

    I heard about the Karmazin memo on Laura Ingraham’s show –
    “Karmazin, during a company-wide conference call Wednesday, warned top staff at Viacom-owned Infinity Broadcasting that a new “zero tolerance” policy was in effect against indecency. “If you don’t comply, you’ll be fired for cause,” he said. “This company won’t be a poster child for indecency.” A follow-up memo to the radio stations’ staff read: “Any station airing programming that has any sexual or excretory content needs to take whatever steps are necessary to make sure that the programming is not even arguably indecent.”
    If this is true, next week will be interesting for Stern and the boys.

  • Anonymous

    I always laugh more when John and the gang are making fun of each other or telling their own stories. Listening to Robin and John last week discuss John kissing her was excellent.

  • Jay Leno has got to be the worst late night talk show on television these days.. It’s just not creative, funny or original. I’d rather watch re-runs of ALF.

  • Jeremy

    Actually, ALF is supposed to be getting his own talk show…