Senator-elect engages in comic give-and-take on Jay Leno’s show

By Michael Levenson
Globe Staff / January 29, 2010

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Throughout his political career, Scott Brown has been dogged by one image from his modeling days, a nude spread in Cosmopolitan magazine 28 years ago.

Last night, appearing as a guest on “The Jay Leno Show,’’ the 50-year-old US senator-elect from Massachusetts joked that he would do it again.

“I’d probably have to do it for Mature Senior AARP Magazine,’’ Brown said.

Leno, who grew up in Andover, pointed out that his father knew Brown’s father. He introduced Brown as “one of the hottest names in politics’’ and “the man who has rocked the political landscape in this country.’’

Leno bantered with Brown about the senator-elect’s favorite movies (the “Rocky’’ and “Rambo’’ series), his declaration on national television that his daughters were available, and how Brown thinks he would fare in a basketball game against President Obama.

“I’ll take my daughter Ayla, who plays for Boston College, and we will challenge him on a little two-on-two,’’ said Brown, a former guard on the Tufts University basketball team. “I think we’d have the upper hand.’’

Brown’s 7-minute appearance via satellite from Greater Boston was another indication that his election has catapulted the state senator from Wrentham into the national spotlight. Brown was asked 10 questions on a segment dubbed 10@10 that has previously featured Michelle Obama, Justin Timberlake, and Lebron James.

In the days since his election, Brown has been the target of plenty of jokes on late-night television. Jon Stewart lamented on the Daily Show that: “The Kennedy legacy goes down to a naked guy who owns a truck.’’

And Conan O’Brien, riffing on Brown’s comment that his daughters were available, said his slogan should have been “Scott Brown: Creepy for Massachusetts, Creepy for America.’’

Last night was Brown’s chance to show that he can make a joke as well as take one.

Dressed in a jacket and a tie, Brown was affable but appeared a bit nervous. He survived the sketch by regaling the national audience with anecdotes familiar to many in Massachusetts.

He told Leno about a youthful brush with the law, recalling how he was detained as a 12-year-old for shoplifting records from a Lechmere store in his “farmer jeans’’ and was set straight by a judge who ordered him to write a 1,500-word essay.

“I haven’t done anything like that since,’’ Brown said.

Brown also told Leno about his weekly workout routine, which includes biking, swimming, and running, prompting the comedian to quip: “God, that’s another thing we have in common. This is unbelievable.’’

The senator-elect didn’t crack a lot of jokes. But he played along with Leno’s humor.

When asked how his daughters reacted to the “available’’ comment, Brown pointed his finger like a gun to his head and pulled a pretend trigger.

Asked to recite a line from his favorite movie, Brown did his best Rocky Balboa imitation. “Adrian, Adrian,’’ he cried. “We did it.’’

And when Leno asked about Brown’s signature truck, Brown offered the comedian a toy version, labeled “driving the establishment crazy.’’

Michael Levenson can be reached at


Recalling Brown’s comment that his daughters were available, Leno asked Brown if they were:

a.) Embarrassed.

b.) They laughed it off.

c.) They got phone calls from John Edwards, the former presidential candidate who admitted to having an affair and fathering another woman’s baby

“I would have to go with ‘b.,’ they laugh it off. And then they yelled at me,’’ Brown said.