Kanye @ SXSW 2009 (more by Faith-Ann Young)
Kanye West

Critics may have hated it, but Monday's premiere of "The Jay Leno Show" got a warm reception from viewers.

Thanks in part to a newsworthy appearance from rapper Kanye West -- who drew widespread scorn for his behavior during the MTV Video Music Awards the previous night -- the former "Tonight Show" host's 10 p.m. comedy-variety show drew a surprisingly large crowd of 18.4 million total viewers, according to data from Nielsen Media Research. That's more than three times what he averaged on "The Tonight Show."

Among the key demographic of viewers aged 18 to 49, "Leno" scored a 5.3 rating/14 share, easily the night's top-rated program. It was NBC's most-watched program in the time period since last year's Summer Olympics. [LA Times]

That widespread scorn even reached President Obama who was taped calling Kanye West a jackass.

Meanwhile, as Kanye promised a few weeks ago, he's going out on tour with Lady Gaga who was also a big star at the VMAs. The'Fame Kills' tour runs from November into January 2010, and includes two (for now?) NYC-area shows: December 22 at the Izod Center and January 3 at Nassau Coliseum. Ticket info TBA. All tour dates, and videos from the Leno show, are below...

Kanye West & Lady Gaga - 2009 Tour Dates
Nov. 10 - Phoenix, AZ @ US Airways Center
Nov. 11 - San Diego, CA @ Vegas Arena
Nov. 13 - Las Vegas, NV @ Madalay Bay Events Center
Nov. 15 - Anaheim, CA @ Honda Center
Nov. 16 - Los Angeles, CA @ Staples Center
Nov. 18 - Sacramento, CA @ ARCO Arena
Nov. 19 - San Jose, CA @ HP Pavilion
Nov. 24 - Vancouver, BC @ General Motors Place
Nov. 26 - Calgary, AB @ Pengrowth Saddledome
Nov. 28 - Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place
Nov. 29 - Saskatoon, SK @ Credit Union Centre
Dec. 2 - Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
Dec. 4 - St. Louis, MO @ Scottrade Center
Dec. 9 - Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena
Dec. 11 - Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena
Dec. 12 - Greensboro, NC @ Greensboro Coliseum Complex
Dec. 13 - Norfolk, VA @ Scope
Dec. 16 - Worcester, MA @ DCU Center
Dec. 18 - Philadelphia, PA @ Wachovia Center
Dec. 19 - Baltimore, MD @ 1st Mariner Arena
Dec. 20 - Buffalo, NY @ HSBC Arena
Dec. 22 - E. Rutherford, NJ @ IZOD Center
Dec. 26 - Hartford, CT @ XL Center
Dec. 30 - Washington, DC @ Verizon Center
Jan. 3 - Uniondale, NY @ Nassau Coliseum
Jan. 6 - Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
Jan. 8 - Kanata, ON @ Scotiabank Place
Jan. 11 - Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre
Jan. 14 - Auburn Hills, MI @ Palace of Auburn Hills
Jan. 16 - Chicago, IL @ United Center
Jan. 19 - New Orleans, LA @ New Orleans Arena
Jan. 21 - San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center
Jan. 22 - Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
Jan. 24 - Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center

(dates via RS)

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