A tiny terrier with a bias against balloons went on a tear Friday night on “The Tonight Show” in a now-annual exercise aimed at predicting who will win the Super Bowl.
The dog — named Anastasia and looking to us like a Jack Russell terrier — was brought on to the show by host Jay Leno to make an unorthodox (and, to our eyes, wholly unscientific) prediction for Sunday’s game on NBC (kickoff’s at 6:30 p.m./5:30c).
As the show did last year, the prognosticating pooch was let loose in a small “field” of inflated balloons, half showing the name of each of Sunday’s Super Bowl contenders — in this case, the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. She then tore into the fragile inflatables, maniacally popping every one.
The last one to be popped signified the eventual winner of the big game. (The reason for this dog’s obsession with balloons was never explained — just call it a “stupid pet trick” and leave it at that!)
A year ago, the last balloon standing was a Packers balloon and the team did indeed go on to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. This year, viewers in the New York area were no doubt stunned when a Patriots balloon came out on top. (Jay seemed happy, though — he grew up around Boston!)
Meanwhile, no Jack Russells were in evidence when Oscar nominee Jean Dujardin, star of “The Artist,” appeared for two segments as Leno’s guest. One of Dujardin’s most talked-about co-stars in the critically acclaimed movie was his character’s dog, a scene-stealing Jack Russell played by a dog named Uggie.
But it was Dujardin himself who stole the show on “Tonight.” Among other revelations, the fun-loving Frenchman talked about the American TV shows — dubbed in French — that he enjoyed as a boy. Among them: “Magnum PI,” “Starsky and Hutch” and “Happy Days.” The Fonz inspired me!” he declared in a delightful French accent.
This guy is really one of the most charismatic personalities we’ve seen on TV in ages. We have both of his segments and we highly recommend them.