NBC has officially purchased the rights to produce an American version of Top Gear, and seeing as it has one of this country's biggest gear heads on its payroll, it's a no-brainer that they would at least ask Jay Leno to host. In his most recent editorial for The Sunday Times, Leno recounts being asked by a corporate suit with practically no clue about of the hit British show to host the American version. It goes something like this. "Well, the network has bought the TV show... um... High Gear? Top Gear? Top Gear! Top Gear, yes. We know you like to build cars." Sigh...

Thankfully Leno turned down the offer, not because he's unworthy, but rather because he knows he couldn't do the show justice and because the idea of an American Top Gear is doomed from the start. Being part of the BBC, the original version is not reliant on advertising to stay on the air, so talking smack about a particular automaker and its wares is no biggie. As Leno notes, things work differently at NBC and any episode in which a sponsor gets lambasted would immediately be followed by what The Tonight Show host calls, "the meeting". And then, bye bye sponsors and bye bye show.

Rumors of comic Adam Carolla hosting the show have us optimistic, because he's a bonafide gear head and if anyone could keep it real about cars on camera, he could. Plus, his last name is phonetically identical to Toyota's little econo-sedan, which would be great fodder for ridicule by the other hosts, whoever they might be. The fact is, however, the task of doing justice to this great export from Great Britain is near impossible, and Jay knows it. Thanks for the tip, everybody!

[Source: Times Online]