Leno’s ‘Comedy Stimulus Plan’ does the job


Asst. ads manager

When usually event parking itself is budgeted, just a smile and a wave by an attendee in your direction and no scrambling for a wad of dough that could pay for a good chunk of gas, was the first sigh of relief upon arriving at the Palace for Jay Leno’s Comedy Stimulus Plan night. Arriving a little after 5 o’clock, as the parking lot opened, proved to be a very wise choice when it came to lines at the door, which were already a little intimidating. The Palace opened the doors a little early to squeeze some of the people from the front of the lines inside the atrium before doors wereactually scheduled to open. Though there was still time to wait until tickets would be taken, the warm atrium versus the brisk winds of a sunny 50-degree day was enough to get one’s bearings before a mad dash for best seats commenced.

In the atrium, a Palace worker let it be known that everything was 20% off – including merchandise, food and alcohol. When 6 o’clock finally hit, lines began to file quickly forward and up the stairs where more Palace workers were stationed at the top, handing out free bags of chips and vouchers for free fountain drinks.

Wasting no time to queue again for the refreshments, only one thing was going through our minds: floor seats.

Brushing through the crowds and down the stairs, we realized we were very lucky in our timing, plenty of rows on the floor, close to the stage, were still available. Our row marked 15, we sat and took a deep breath and were pumped about our close seats.

By now it was just past 6 p.m., and the show didn’t start until 8 p.m.. During the extra time, we took advantage of our free fountain drink vouchers and strolled around the Palace – plenty of attendees seemed to be taking advantage of the 20% off everything ‘deals’. Taking a look into the crowd around the Palace right before eight o’clock, it seemed filled to maximum capacity.

The lights went out and a seemingly over-excited voice announced the Detroit-based funk cover band, The Sun Messengers, taking the stage. They put on an exciting show and played a few recognizable numbers that got the crowd to their feet to dance. The next cheer from the crowd was followed Kid Rock’s anticipated presence. “From the D” himself, he briefly hyped his love for Detroit and Jay Leno’s loyalty to the Motor City. It was an exciting moment when Jay Leno appeared in the stage lights – so close to such an icon who was there for Detroit itself, not just on a ‘it’s great to be here in (fill in the blank) tour’. His choice of material was very appropriate for the crowd and the overall mood of the situation he was there to diffuse. He started out with national politics and there were plenty of laughs throughout the rest of the show to have everyone walking away with smiles and uplifted chatter. This stimulus plan got laughter the way it was intended.