It’s not any breaking news that Gordon Ramsay’s act has been wearing pretty thin. But Thursday’s appearance on the Tonight Show was so bad, and Gordo’s patter so labored, that he may have actually gone back in time and become twenty years over the hill, rather than just a month or two. Ramsey’s stilted, scripted spiel made a point of calling out such of-the-moment targets as snooty French people, cops, and even women drivers. (We kept waiting for him to start in on hippies, but maybe he’s saving that for Dick Cavett.)
The Tonight Show, and Jay Leno’s patter, is the most retro thing on television anyway; other than Gordo’s random boast of having burned his left nut (a fact we have only his word for, by the way) the whole second segment in which he taught Jay how to cook crêpes was straight from the sixties as well. Everything about Ramsay is tired: his stuffy restaurant; his love of verbal abuse; and, most of all, his effort to portray himself as a Bourdanian wild man, without any help from hard drugs, a weird sex life, or the slightest bit of scandal. If Gordon Ramsay were actually interesting, he wouldn’t have to try so hard.