By Tony Hicks
Thursday, February 18th, 2010 at 4:14 pm in Uncategorized.
I’m finally back from vacation. Which wasn’t a vacation as much as it was a fabulous tour of all things kid in the Bay Area (Oakland Zoo, Exploratorium, Academy of Sciences). Then, of course, I took my daughter fishing one day, the story of which I’ll divulge in my Sunday column.
So for some reason today, I got to thinking about Jay Leno. Or, more specifically, the buudy-cop film he made with Pat “Arnold” Morita.
As you gasp for breath at the thought, allow me to provide context. Before he became a toned down, white washed, less humorous version of Johnny Carson, Leno was a stand-up comedian and actor who, believe it or not, was kinda funny. At least in the early 80s, when he was a frequent guest on Letterman. I even saw him do stand-up once in 1985, where I remember one of his funnier routines being about that “conniving bitch Mother Theresa.”
But the edginess was all but gone by late in the decade when he started filling in for Carson and his older, eat-dinner-by 4 p.m. demographic. But even as sneaky as he was in pushing Conan out the door, there are worse things Leno has done to offend America. Mostly his attempt at transition to film.
Anyone remember “Collision Course,” 1989’s buddy-cop flick Leno made with Pat “Arnold” Morita? Two decades later, the plot sounds funnier than anything Leno was ever involved with. From IMDB.com:
“Tony Costas, a brash, obnoxious, sexist and racist Detroit cop who has long since stopped following the rules, gets told that he will have to work with Inspector Fuji, a straightlaced policeman from Japan. Fuji is in Detroit searching for a Japanese engineer who has gone to America with plans for a top secret car part. The pair naturally fail to get along at first, but as the investigation continues, they almost begin to come close to tolerating each other’s presence.”
Wow – how could that not work? Oh right – it did. Those movies were called “Rush Hour.” Which, admittedly, came later. But – wow. Who thought this one would work?
At least Tex Cobb was in it, so there was some degree of quality.