Comedian and former MTV star Tom Green returned to “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” Friday night to perform five minutes of stand-up comedy — his newest endeavor.
Green, 41, has a Showtime stand-up special currently airing at various times on the pay-cable channel, but he’d never performed as a stand-up comic on “Tonight” until now. Nor had he been seen on “Tonight” in more than a few years, though he appeared several times during his heyday in the early ’00s.
Friday night, Green’s performance included rants about texting and Facebook — and he also noted how he was plucked from the obscurity of public-access television in Canada to become an overnight sensation on MTV back in 1999.
By June 2002, when he made an infamous appearance on “The Tonight Show,” Green was a full-fledged celebrity who had already married and divorced Drew Barrymore. That was the night Green came on the “Leno” show and proceeded to render himself blind drunk — on the air — by downing shot after shot of Jagermeister. Green explained later that he thought it would make a funny comedy bit, but it didn’t come across that way. Later that year, he returned to the show and apologized to Jay.
That incident wasn’t mentioned when Green came on “Tonight” on Friday.
We were glad to see him. There was a time when this guy was the freshest, boldest, most outrageous comedic performer on TV — which was why MTV picked him up. He would do things like wait until his parents had left their modest home for the day, then remove all the furniture and fill the first floor of the house with live farm animals — and videotape the whole thing, including their shocked reactions when they arrived home. It was before “Punk’d” or “Jackass” — just totally new and original.
We wish him all the best as a stand-up.