So, okay, at some point during the past year, Jay Leno won us over. Yes, his jokes are still terrible, his finger is still a good half-inch off the American pulse, and worst of all, he's the sort of comedian who laughs at his own joke. Nothing is more annoying. (Jimmy Fallon, Horatio Sanz, Kenan Thompson: PLEASE TAKE NOTE.)

But something about Jay struck a chord with us. Perhaps it was his passion for cars, or his love of Detroit. Or maybe it was the steady stream of chambray work shirts that Jay wears to give himself that blue-collar, "everyman" look. Whatever the case, our opinion of the guy changed for the better.

At that point, we would've probably lapped up this clip of Jay motoring down Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles in a candy apple red Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. But now we've got the Conan fiasco standing in our way. Now when we watch the clip, and Jay begins to compare it to "C'etait un Rendez-Vous", we can't help thinking, "Oh, please, you pompous jerk. The beauty of that little masterpiece is that you don't see the car, you don't (really) see the driver, you don't even hear the driver, you only hear the road of the engine and see the streets of Paris (and the occasional car) whizzing by. LESS IS MORE."

And besides, the driver in "Rendez-Vous" is badass (check the workaround he pulls at the 4:12 mark). Jay isn't pulling any such moves.

We've posted the two clips below for comparison. We hear that Jeremy Hart, the director of the Leno clip called "The Fast and the Famous", may turn it into a series. Here's hoping that future drivers let their cars do the talking -- and that our feelings for Leno become charitable again soon.

[NYTimes]