Jay Leno: The excitement of his construction webcam is something to behold.
The Jay Leno Show premieres on September 14, and NBC has rolled out the inevitable web site to support it.
So far, the original content consists primarily of a blog from a band member who's trying to lose ten pounds before the show starts and a blog from Leno's stand-in. But by far, the greatest thing about the site is the live webcam of the giant studio that is in the process of being built.
Now, rather suspiciously, as I was preparing to post this entry, the thing went offline entirely. This means that their plan for a 24/7 feed has gone awry, OR something started happening that they couldn't show (striptease?), OR they are secretly tapping my computer and were aware that I was about to blow the lid off the webcam's greatness and overload their servers with eager eyeballs. Either way, I will not be dissuaded. I'm sure it will be back soon. Even when it's offline, it's mesmerizing — for a brief moment, it was showing what was clearly someone's computer screen, as the mouse was moved around. Bizarre! Satisfying!
Based on what was showing when last it was available, the webcam has been placed in what appears to be an unassuming corner, behind a broom handle and a bunch of junk. Yesterday, there was sound: specifically, there was a constant, high-pitched, ear-splitting chirp, as if a cricket had ingested three gallons of coffee and then been run through a paper shredder over and over again. It seemed vaguely hostile, as if NBC were saying, "Oh, you want to see the studio, do you? How about this? EEEEP! EEEEP! EEEEP! Did you like that, smart-aleck? Now go away, we are working."
Today, the chirp has apparently been resolved, or the cricket eaten by a lizard, or something of that nature.
What can you see on the webcam? Well, you can see a large cart of some kind. And you can see some motorized doohickeys that could be floor polishers or small, sentient robots. Now and then, there is a burst of excitement as a person ambles into view. And then out of view. And you cry out softly, "Come back!" But he does not. He has important things to do.
The show claims that on Monday night, it will premiere what it is calling "our 'live' streaming show" — with the "live" in quotation marks, as if it will be not actually live, but a thing that many people like to call live. It will be "live," in the same way that certain "bands" play "rock and roll."
I will give the show credit for unfailing optimism, however. At the bottom of the page, it says, "Because it's a shared connection, every 15-20 minutes you'll be asked to confirm that you're still watching." They just want you to know this, in case you feel inconvenienced as you enter Hour Seven of your viewing marathon of the Mostly Dormant Construction Site Webcam And Prescription-Strength Horse Tranquilizer.