Watch: Jay Leno Skewers TV Faves, Turns ‘Dexter’ Into ‘Texter’

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This was one of the most elaborate comedy bits we’ve seen in ages on Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show,” and we hope it was a sign that Jay and his team are kicking it up a notch in their bid to stay on top in the late-night wars.

It was a bit that aired Wednesday night called “Midsummer Replacement Shows,” and it involved spoofy spinoffs of established hits and genres.

The “shows” — four in all — required on-location shoots, specially built sets, and about a dozen actors and actresses, all told (including Food Network stars Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri, who appeared in one of the segments).

The elements that went into its production represent an unusually high investment for a Leno comedy bit, and whatever they spent on it, our opinion is that it was well worth it.

Among the shows Leno parodied: Showtime’s “Dexter” (which became “Texter”), Art Linkletter’s old show “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” and singing-competition shows such as “The Voice” and “Duets.”

The latter spoof, which spun off a new show called “Quartets” from “Duets,” was especially effective as a traditional barber shop quartet goes gangsta.

We loved this bit.

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