Clay Aiken Visits ‘The Tonight Show’

‘American Idol’ season two runner-up dropped by ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ on Friday to perform his new single ‘Without You’ and talk with Jay beforehand about his trip to Europe. Read on for a rough transcript.

Jay: No — my next — my next guest captured the hearts of millions of fans, of course, on “American Idol.” He’s gonna sing for us tonight. But first we thought we’d chat with him first. His new album is called “A Thousand Different Ways.” It will be released next Tuesday. Please welcome Clay Aiken!

[ Screams and applause ]

Jay: Welcome back.

Clay: The only time I followed a a comedian.

[ Screams and applause ] I’m not as funny after you. I’m not as funny now.

[ Audience member yells ] Thank you.

Jay: No — well, I — well, thanks for being a a trouper. I know you’re a little bit under the weather this week. You okay?

Clay: I’ve been — I was a little bit sick, but I went to the —

Howie: Oh, my god.[ Laughter ]

Jay: Yeah, he’s like — he’s like paranoid.

[ Laughter ]

Clay: This is my segment. Can you please —

[ Laughter and cheers ] No, I’m not — I’m okay. I went to the doctor. I’m good. Don’t worry about it.

Howie: I’m not worried.

[ Laughter ]

Clay: I’m fine.

Jay: Where did you get sick?

Clay: Well, I don’t — I’m not sick now. But I had been, I mean, I was sick —

Jay: You were sick before?

Clay: I was sick and this year I went to Europe. And got morbidly sick.

Jay: Wow.

Clay: But actually — it was a a really long process, but I went and I woke up in Slovenia and had this horrible crick in my neck.

Jay: You just woke up and you were in Slovenia? That’s really —

[ Laughter ] What, were you kidnapped?

Clay: Mess of a dream. It really was.

[ Laughter ] No, I had this — I went on a a vacation, and I woke up with this horrible crick in my neck. And so I had some medicine — it’s very confusing. I don’t want to get anybody in trouble. So my doctor would prescribe my medications in my assistant’s name or somebody else’s name so that if I’m on the road, you know, they won’t —

Jay: So they can pick it up for you.

Clay: Right.

Jay: ‘Cause they won’t give medicine to somebody who’s not —

Clay: Exactly.

Jay: Oh, I see. Very clever.

[ Laughter ]

Clay: And so I went and I knew that I had had a root canal earlier in the year. And I knew that I had some medicine for that, you know, ’cause it hurts.

[ Laughter ] And so — see, the laughs.

Howie: You’re doing good.

[ Laughter ]

Clay: And so I took the medicine for the root canal for my crick in my neck, and I went to McDonald’s, because I’m all about McDonald’s in all these different countries. It’s very fascinating.

Jay: Wait — you visit McDonald’s in these countries?

Clay: As many as possible.

Jay: See this is why —

[ Laughter ]

Howie: You love the foreign food? Y honestly — in different countries, it’s really phenomenal. Because I went to Indonesia, and in the McDonald’s in Indonesia, and I’m not lying, they have live chickens running around out back. ‘Cause fried chicken is really big at the McDonald’s in Indonesia.

Howie: The McNuggets must be fresh.

[ Laughter ]

Clay: Very, very.

Jay: All right. You went to McDonald’s Dicine. I went to the McDonald’s, and I’m sitting at the counter. The next thing I know, I’m laying on the floor, in this

[ Laughter ] And my friend who was with me found a table first before she would come wake me up on the floor.

[ Laughter ] And all these Slovenians are looking like — at me on the floor. And I went back to the hotel, and apparently what I had done is I had taken not the right medicine but I thought my assistant had been really ill and he had some Percocet and I had taken it.

[ Audiences ohs ]

Jay: Oh. So you didn’t read the —

Clay: Yeah. And that’s really strong, apparently. Strong enough to lay you out on the floor in a McDonald’s.

Jay: See, I would have picked my own medicine and sent somebody else to McDonald’s.

[ Laughter ]

Clay: Oh, I need to go to the McDonald’s.

Jay: Oh, you have to go yourself.

Clay: I want to to as many — in as many different countries’ McDonald’s as possible.

Jay: See, this is why Americans are loved around the world. We go to other cultures, and we

Clay: Well, it’s different. They have different things.

Jay: The pickles are still hanging off the end of the bun just like it is in America. Balls in Hungary and all that stuff.

Jay: Really?

[ Laughter ]

Clay: Anthey are funny mozzarella balls.

Jay: Really?

[ Laughter ]

Howie: What medicine do take to get rid of that?

[ Laughter and applause

Jay: Yeah, that sounds painful.

[ Cheers and applause ] Now, I read you also thought you had the bird flu? What was that about?

Clay: Stealing my attention from all the way at the end of the couch. I did — no, I got sick later on in that same trip, and I thought I had the bird flu.

[ Laughter ]

Jay: Now why bird flu?

Clay: Really, it was bad. I had like 105.5-degree temperature.

Jay: Yeah, but why bird flu?

Clay: Well, I’d been in Croatia, and I thought, you know, bird flu.

Howie: He coughed up a a pigeon.

Jay: Right.

[ Laughter ]

Jay: Does the bird flu come from Croatia? Why —

Clay: Well, apparently they had it in croatia.

Jay: Oh, they had it in Croatia.

Clay: At the time. So anyway — I was planning my funeral and everything with my mother.

Jay: Wait a minute — this sounds overly dramatic.

Clay: You’ve got to be prepared.

[ Laughter ]

Jay: So, you had a fever, so you immediately planned your funeral?

Clay: Well, I just wanted to be ready. I thought I was gonna die! It was bad.

Jay: So what did you do? What plans did you — you don’t have to do anything.

Clay: I told my mother I wanted Ruben to sing at my funeral.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Jay: That was very nice.

Clay: I do. What’s wrong with that?

Jay: Nothing, nothing.

Clay: We should all be prepared. I don’t want to go right now.

[ Laughter ] But when it’s time, I want to be ready.

Jay: All right. And Ruben will sing there.

Clay: I hope so.

Jay: Okay. Now, you moved back to Raleigh?

Clay: I did.

Jay: You got a new house?

Clay: I built a house.

Jay: Oh, you built a house.

Clay: Been very — yeah. My mother’s a decorator, so she made sure everything was very —

Jay: Oh, very nice.

Clay: She designed it and did all that stuff.

Jay: Oh, okay. So, now, are you a gourmet guy? Do you prepare meals? Do you cook meals?

Clay: I’m not — I’m a horrible eater. So I actually — I, like, eat one time a day.

Jay: Just once a day? At McDonald’s?

Clay: If I can. A foreign one.I just have got on a bad schedule so I actually — because I wanted to get back on a regular eating schedule, I hired someone to cook meals — because I’m lazy, and if I have to make the sandwich too —

[ Laughter ]

Jay: So is it — physically and mentally making the sandwich —

Clay: Restful.

Jay: Do you get confused? Do you go, bread, bread, meat? No, that’s wrong. Meat, bread —

[ Laughter ] I mean, do you have —

[ Laughter ] Is it the actual building of the sandwich you don’t understand?

Clay: It’s a lot of work. You gotta go and get the bread and open —
the twisty tie confuses me every time.

[ Laughter ] And so I hired someone to cook for me, and I have that all taken care of now. And everything’s blue.

Jay: Hang on, everything’s blue?

Clay: I have to have everything very meticulous. Everything in the kitchen has to be blue.

Jay: Blue plates?

Clay: This would go in my kitchen very well. This would be great.

Jay: But see, I don’t like — then you don’t know what you’re drinking because you can’t see the color.

Clay: Do you have clear mugs at your house?

Jay: Yeah.

Clay: Do you?

Clay: Jay well, I have clear glasses.

Clay: But my glasses are clear blue.

Jay: Now, is your bathroom like an airplane barroom? Is that blue water, too?

[ Laughter ] Now, you’re gonna come back and sing after this fascinating discussion.

Clay: I would love to.

Jay: Alright, okay. It’s called “A Thousand Different Ways”. We’ll be right back with Clay Aiken, right after this.

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