History repeated itself Tuesday when Jay Leno visited the striking writers’ picketline to show his support and brought back some donuts.
The former Tonight Show host stopped at the picket outside Walt Disney Studios in Burbank and began handing out donuts from Randy’s. Several videos posted to social media captured Leno’s acts of generosity and solidarity, and he was greeted warmly by union members with cries of “thank you” and “we love you, Jay.”
Leno famously made a public statement of support for the writers the last time the guild went on strike in 2007. On the first day of that strike, the comedian rode to the picket line outside Universal Studios on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle, donuts in hand (Krispy Kremes on that occasion).
The 2007-2008 strike lasted 100 days and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno was one of the shows most affected by it, with NBC airing reruns. The late night mainstay returned without writers in early January 2008 to save the jobs of non-writing staff. Without his writers, Leno memorably tried to improvise his way through shows by writing his own jokes and monologues.
The Writers Guild of America called a strike Monday night after negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents studios and streamers, fell through. The two sides have not yet scheduled a future date to return to the negotiating table.