As a kid, I was a big fan of Jay Leno. I watched The Tonight Show every night before I went to sleep. I abandoned my Leno fandom sometime in my early high school years, but still; I was a fan. In particular, I was always been inexplicably fascinated by the moment when Jay, or any late night talk show host, waved goodbye to the viewers and the ending music rolled in, followed by credits, which were followed by a production company logo. I don’t know why, really. I just was, and still am, kinda. Now, I’m sure we all have those moments when we look at something 1,000 times and we just don’t get it. But then, on the 1,001st viewing, it finally makes sense and we feel like an idiot for not noticing it on viewings 1 through 1,000. You’d think at around 278 something would click, but no. You still don’t get it. That’s how I always felt when I watched the Jay Leno’s production company logo fill up the screen, just before the signal cut to Conan.
The screen would (and I presume still does; I haven’t watched in a while) fill with blue and in the center was a napkin-worthy sketch of Jay’s face sandwiched between two words “Big” and “Dog”. Big Dog Productions is Jay’s production company. When I was a kid, I never saw the words Big Dog. For some reason, the hand-written words, along with the vertical arrangement of the letters, tricked me in to not recognizing the words as words. They were just lines to me – a series of squiggly, wavy lines running down the side of cartoon Jay’s head.
So, the only logical conclusion I drew from this was that Jay had chosen to end each episode of his show with a picture of what he would look like if her were a rabbi, and the words Big Dog were actually the long curls orthodox Jews wear on the sides of their heads.
According to Wikipedia, the curls are called Payot. And while there isn’t a Wikipedia entry that backs me up, I was wrong and those weren’t Jew curls. Those were words. And I was dumb.