Monday, October 20, 2008


Chucklehead Leno Mocks CPAP Users




“How is someone supposed to sleep while wearing that stupid thing?”

Jay Leno laughed.

Last week Leno, host of the Tonight Show, was in the middle of his Headlines bit, a segment where he jokes around about various news clippings. Usually Leno yuks it up by targeting bad headline typos, bumbling criminal stories and quack product ads. This time he was commenting about a magazine advertisement for a sleep apnea pillow.

When he mentioned the ad, I assumed he was going to ridicule a dubious product that claimed to treat sleep apnea by itself. Leno held up a photo showing someone sleeping on his side, facing the camera, while wearing a CPAP mask. The pillow was shaped to make it easier for the man to wear the mask, unlike regular pillows.

So what was the problem? From what I saw the pillow was a good design; it should work. Regular pillows are more apt to dislodge the facemask.

But Leno didn’t want to comment on the pillow; he found humor in the mask strapped over the man’s head.

Indeed, how does someone sleep wearing one of those masks? I struggle with that problem every night. Leno, on the other hand, is said to get by on only five hours of sleep. So apnea ain’t his onus.

To pour salt into the wound, Leno pretended to be the man in the ad. Breathing hard, he said: “Hey, wanna have sex?” A Darth Vader reference is such a knee-slapper.

Maybe Leno should go to the hospital and crack jokes about someone in an oxygen tent. That should produce plenty of guffaws.


9 comments:

Joe said...

Leno's material would become very limited if he became overly worried about hurting peoples feelings. Remember Lenny Bruce, George Carlin - Howard Stern? Without shock value added, these guys would never have made their big reps.

I'm not sensitive about it, but I have been a snorer for a long time. As I got older, my snoring got more frequent and louder. I also noticed I was tired a lot and liked to take naps during the day. People complained about my snoring and I could not sleep in the same room with other people for fear of keeping them awake.

Finally, I asked my doctor about the problem and he had me try out a CPAP machine. The doc said my airway was closing off up to 70 times each hour, and that I stopped breathing for as long as one full minute at a time! He strongly recommended I start using the CPAP machine, since I was risking damage to my heart due to lack of oxygen.

I had read about CPAP machines before and always thought I would never be able to sleep with one, since I am somewhat claustrophobic. Surprisingly, it only took me a few minutes to get used to, and I was able to sleep comfortably from the very beginning with no problem.

The mask portion is just a small apparatus that fits on the nostrils to blow in air that keeps the throat inflated, thus preventing any snoring. Straps over the head are a little annoying, but they are necessary to keep the nose piece in place. If one changes sleeping positions at night, it’s possible for these straps to move, causing the nose piece to slip off.

I have been using a Dreamhelmet, a combination sleep mask sound-muffling pillow for years now, for sleeping at night and for napping during the day. I always find it hard to sleep without the Dreamhelmet, and I was afraid I would not be able to use it with the CPAP mask, but I was wrong about that too.

After I slept with the CPAP machine and mask for a short while, I tried wearing the Dreamhelmet over the CPAP, covering up the straps – voila, it worked like a charm! I found that the Dreamhelmet actually helps keep the straps in place when I change positions, so now I can sleep all night in comfort, not being bothered by sound, light, or changing positions. The CPAP and the Dreamhelmet are the perfect sleeping combination for me.

I now wake up rested, and I have energy that lasts all day long. I don’t feel so run down all the time or feel like I need an afternoon nap, but I still carry an extra Dreamhelmet in the car with me just in case I do need a nap.

Ray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ray said...

Joe:

Maybe I'm eXtremely skeptical but parts of your post read like an ad. And when I click on your link, it doesn't go through; I'm informed that no such page exists on my blog. But when I hover my cursor over your link, I see an link with this blog to www.dreamhelmet.com .

Unless I hear from you again with a workable link or you have a reasonable explanation, your comment will probably be deleted.

Ray

X. Dell said...

Ray, regarding your comment, if your suspicion is correct that would represent a new method of intrusion. Whoever wrote it would have had to have at least read your post.

Actually, comics (and I did this for awhile) know that their success comes from people liking them--whether it's Bruce, Carlin, or Don Rickles. Attacking someone is fine, but it really violates comic theory to take a cheap shot and someone. When Carlin insulted a person or institution, you know damn well they deserved it-usually. That's what made it funny. When Rickles attacked someone, you knew for certain that they didn't deserve it (e.g., "I love every one in this audience...except for the lady with the hat in the fourth row"). The irony is what made it funny.

The rule is not to kick someone when they're down. Sometimes Leno and others try to push the envelope, but wind up taking cheap shots. Sometimes comedians apologize for this; sometimes they complain that the butt of the joke lacks a sense of humor.

I don't think the gag, as you described it here, meant to make fun of people who snore (that would be a stupid thing for Leno to do) but at the efficacy of the mask itself. If it wasn't that clear, then he screwed up simply by writing a bad gag.

Doug said...

Ray,
Don't delete Joe's comment; the amusement from his specious comparison is funnier than what inspired your post in the first place.

And from the instances where I've happened to be flipping around and endured the segment in question on the Tonight Show, Joe's comment is also funnier than anything Jay Leno and his writers have come up with just in general.

That said, this sounds like it was a low even for Mr. Leno.

After Jay leaves (and clearly that cannot come fast enough), it will take some effort on Conan O'Brien's part to be less funny.

But as long as he's not as stupid, it will make for a better show.

Leigh Hanlon said...

I'm disappointed to learn that Jay Leno joked about this medical condition. He'd be out on his butt in a heartbeat if, say, he found humor in breast cancer, mental retardation, muscular dystrophy or any medical conditions that aren't funny to those coping with them.

Ray said...

Thanks - X. Dell, Doug, and Leigh - for your comments. Sorry that it's taken me a while to publish them. I do appreciate the feedback.

Ray

Doug said...

And have you heard that NBC will be ruining their 10 o'clock time slot next year by giving Mr. Leno a prime time show? Hooray for them! Eh, not like there's any reason to watch anything on that network other than The Office and 30 Rock anyway...

Ray said...

Doug:

Usually I find Leno amusing but since he's so high on the star ladder, he can make insensitive comments that would get a local TV newscaster or radio personality yanked off the air. After all, he has those big NBC lawyers to back him up. I don't know of big stars or corporations backing CPAP users.

We'll see how some of his stupidity plays in prime time to a bigger audience.

Ray