Clip du jour: Jay Leno's reading of 'Hamlet' is different from mine

Hamlet, arguably the greatest play in history, is the one where the guy sleeps with his mother. That’s why Freud called it a Hamlet complex, right?


Yeah, those kids today with their Twitters and their loud music, what a bunch of idiots! Better luck next time, Jay. [via HuffPo]


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  • Allan

    Good one – although it may prove to be too subtle for some.

  • Chappel

    “That’s why Freud called it a Hamlet complex, right?” No, you’re thinking of his brother Omlet (his friends just called him Denver).

  • a person

    Hamlet never slept w/ his mom…did he? i thought it was Edipus(or however u spelt it from the sophocles play)

    • Marc

      “A person” is correct

    • Kerry

      You’re right, it was Oedipus. That’s the point of the article. :)

  • Flyer

    Yeah, this is just one of many reasons why I’m not watching Jay’s new show. If only i’d dropped out after 8th grade, maybe I’d fit NBC’s demographic. Guess I’ll have to wait an hour and stick with Stewart and Colbert.

  • Nicole

    Yeah, you’re thinking of Oedipus. Hamlet and Gertrude were in her bedroom together but they didn’t get it on. Some scholars argue that part of Hamlet’s angst towards Claudius could be linked to Oedipal feelings toward Gertrude.

    • glamora

      Well, I think that’s who *Jay Leno and his writers* were thinking of, and the point is that it’s pathetic that they’d be revealing their own literary ignorance during a joke that was supposed to be bashing today’s supposedly addlebrained youth. I wonder how they’d do on reading comprehension, hunh?

  • Nicole

    Yeah, you’re thinking of Oedipus. Hamlet and Gertrude were in her bedroom together but they didn’t get it on. Some scholars argue that part of Hamlet’s angst towards Claudius could be linked to Oedipal feelings toward Gertrude.

  • Laura

    Wow, Jay, just… wow. You seriously believe that Hamlet and Oedipus are the same play? Wow. I think the worst part is that the whole audience seemed to believe it too. Wow. Just another reason for me not to watch The Tonight Show 2, i.e. The Jay Leno Show.

  • sam

    Perhaps Jay was remembering the movie version Olivier did in which he certainly implied such a relationship between Hamlet and his mother. Actually, some scholars interpret the play that way, so he is not really wrong about that. But as for the “complex”, it was Oedipus.

    • Andy G.

      Yeah, he did do that, but I love the story where Olivier said afterwords that that was an incredibly stupid move to make those feelings so clear (I think he kissed her, or something? I don’t remember 100%) because if Hamlet was feeling that way, the last thing he would want to do is express it. Shows you what goes on in actors’ heads even after they play the character.

      But yes, I doubt Jay was going for THAT highbrow of a joke that you’d have to be familiar with Shakespeare scholarship. Oedipus is definitely who he was looking for. Although the audience did seem to be with him, so I guess the jokes on us theatre majors ;).

  • Allan

    See?

  • Ali

    Oh dear. What’s sad is that this joke must have been heard by a dozen people minimum before making it onto the air. Does no one know the plot? I wasn’t planning on watching Jay’s show before; now I don’t think I could.

  • RayT

    Perhaps Jay has a long-lost, much kinkier quarto than we do!

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