BURBANK, CA—In an impassioned, nationally televised plea Monday, a teary-eyed Jay Leno begged O.J. Simpson to commit more murders.
"I beg of you, Mr. Simpson. I have no more material since your trial ended," the Tonight Show host said. "If you have any decency, any compassion at all, hear my plea to kill someone else."
"I am certain," Leno continued, "that last month's civil judgment was financially ruinous to you. No doubt, you feel a profound sense of anger over the verdict. That is why today I am urging you to translate that anger into action, violent action against an innocent victim, preferably a celebrity."
In the event that Simpson is unwilling to commit another murder, Leno asked that, at the very least, he sexually brutalize someone.
"For 30 years, The Tonight Show has been America's premier comedic institution. But now, that great tradition is in jeopardy. O.J., America needs another high-profile homicide to show us how to laugh again."
When pressed to name a person for Simpson to murder, Leno suggested an ex-girlfriend. "That would certainly provide a gold mine for us to work with. Perhaps you could slash her throat, and I then could remark, 'Boy, O.J.'s been slashing so much lately, I hear Kmart's looking to hire him.'"
"Because they slash a lot of prices," he added.
Upon the joke's completion, Tonight Show bandleader Kevin Eubanks, at Leno's side for the press conference, slapped his guitar and chuckled good-naturedly.
Leno, who built years of monologue material on the premise that Simpson actually committed the murders, was adamant in his plea. "I am not asking for a methodical, time-consuming, difficult murder. Please, just a clumsy, poorly planned crime of passion like last time."
Upon completion of his remarks, Leno concluded the press conference with a surprise appearance by the Dancing Itos, an outrageous can-can line comprised of Judge Lance Ito lookalikes.
The Tonight Show host's impassioned plea to Simpson has been well received by other talk-show hosts. "I too pray that O.J. Simpson will kill again," fellow NBC late-nighter Conan O'Brien said. "O.J. Simpson has a responsibility, an obligation to American comedy. Simpson-based humor is a great American tradition. The man owes it to the American television-viewing public to commit another murder."
O'Brien then made an impassioned plea of his own, imploring former presidential candidate Bob Dole to run for public office once more.
Among ordinary Americans, reaction to Leno's unusual plea has been sympathetic. "I feel for Jay," said regular Tonight Show viewer Gayle Edmonds of Battle Creek, MI. "His monologues have been flat lately. Madonna, Dennis Rodman and the whole Clinton fund-raising mess, that's not what I would call humor. Not a single one of them has ever stabbed a person to death in a jealous rage."
Simpson could not be reached for comment at press time, as he was "golfing" in the Caribbean "somewhere" for an "indefinite time."