Leno continues to enjoy great ratings for his time slot, “Versus the first four weeks of the year-ago season, Leno is up 16% in 18-49 viewers (with 1.098 million vs. 933,000) and up 11% in total viewers (3.560 million vs. 3.216 million).” This suggests that Cruz will be able to introduce himself to an audience that has hitherto only heard about him second or third hand.
Leno is an equal opportunity jokester, having not only zinged Cruz for the government shutdown but also President Obama for the Obamacare disaster. The latter did not stop him from having the president on recently in which he took great pains to state what an honor it was.
Cruz’s appearance on late night TV suggests that he may have higher ambitions. Bill Clinton, for example, appeared on the “Arsenio Hall Show” during his first campaign and played the sax. The medium is a perfect fit for a politician to show his more human side, especially with a host as affable as Leno.