A western Iowa man says his phone hasn’t exactly been ringing off the hook since his mid-December appearance on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno. Dennis Fett of Minden is an elementary band director who got to showcase some of his own talent in Hollywood.
"I have been an aspiring clarinetist for many years and used to play professionally as a kid, but I came up with this act where I play songs and start with my clarinet all together and it ends with just the mouth piece," Fett says. "…I call it my disappearing clarinet act and I played ‘Jingle Bells’ for ‘The Tonight Show’ in 28 seconds." The show segment in which Fett appeared is called "Does This Impress Ed Asner?" It aired back on December 19th.
"I guess I did impress him," Fett says. "It was kind of amazing. I had no idea what he was going to do. He had interesting faces all during the segment as I watched him." Fett spent five hours on the set and appeared just after Leno’s monologue, but before actor James Franco sat on Jay’s couch.
"The first time I met Jay is when I shook his hand when you saw it on TV and we got photographs with Jay, personally, after the show and that was the extent (of it)," Fett says. "They had the famous ‘Green Room" with all the adult beverages and all the snacks were upstairs right behind where Jay sits, on the other side of the wall. We had our dressing rooms downstairs and I guess that’s tradition, what they do. You usually don’t get to see everybody."
Fett hasn’t been wooed away from western Iowa yet to take his disappearing clarinet act on the road. He seems to have much simpler goals about his 28-seconds of TV fame. "Hopefully my students at Boyer Valley Elementary School will be inspired to go for their dreams someday when they get to be a little bit older," Fett says.