Kimmel on 'sucker-punching' Leno: Another knock-out last night

Yesterday, Jay Leno went on Oprah and said that Jimmy Kimmel “sucker-punched” him when Kimmel appeared on his “10 @ 10″ segment. Well, Kimmel devoted a chunk of Jimmy Kimmel Live last night to deliver another sucker-pu… I mean, a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at how it all happened.

Check it out:

Kimmel talked about being booked on The Jay Leno Show, and the standard talk-show process of being “pre-interviewed” — when a staffer goes over with the guest the general topics that will be discussed. When Kimmel realized that Leno wanted to ask him stuff such as “What’s your junk-food weakness?” Kimmel balked, claiming he told the staffer, “I really think we have to talk about what’s going on with Jay and Conan because that’s what people want to hear about – not about my junk food weakness.”

He was told that Jay felt “‘there’s been a lot of talk about that stuff and we don’t want to beat it to death.’”

Kimmel paused and said, “But what he did not understand was I did want to beat it to death. I like beating things to death. And so I did.”

Then Kimmel delivered the roundhouse right:

“If I made any mistake, the mistake I made was thinking Jay would have anything other to say than what was written on the cue cards. I figured he’d get into it and mix it up. You know, at one time he was a comedian. But he just stood there, kind of reading through the questions like a robot and then goes off and rats me out to Oprah.”

In case you forgot the original segment, here it is:

Kimmel concluded last night by jokingly whining Lenoesquely, “He’s a tattle tale. Oprah and I had a wonderful relationship and now it’s ruined because of Jay.”

What do you think?

For more on Leno and Oprah: Leno admits to lying, ridicules Conan: This is damage control?

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  • Vivi

    L O L!!!

    • Lay Jeno

      Anyone else feel like when Jimmy says, “I did want to beat it to death”, he was kind of channeling Letterman’s Paris Hilton interview: “You see that’s the difference between me and you, that’s all I want to talk about”.

      • Coyote

        Letterman is the master at beating a topic to death … and I mean that as a compliment.

      • Letr

        Uma, Oprah, Uma, Oprah.

      • Hurley


      • Tara

        Kimmel is a no talent fool. His show sucks and it was pretty damn rude of him. Who does Kimmel have to support,he doesn’t have kids or a wife so who is he to judge Jay. Kimmel is a fat man in a suit, who runs his mouth for a living: nothing new, nothing spectacular- the world is full of jerks like him.

      • Deee

        He does have kids….and a wife…..

      • bridgey

        Letterman is the king, Leno is a back stabbing untalented a$$hole who can’t deliver a single line his writers give him. Ya, you think Leno writes ANY of his own show….think again…Kimmel ROCKS! An off the cuff improv master! Leno needs to go home and as Kimmel said “take care of his cars” and leave the rest of the world alone.

      • D

        I definitely thought he was channeling Letterman. It was nice because Letterman was in repeats this week.

      • sera black

        Jay i thank god for you and i think you are the best.

      • the ghost of ed mcmahon

        QUOTE: Kimmel is a fat man in a suit, who runs his mouth for a living: nothing new, nothing spectacular- the world is full of jerks like him.


        and Leno isn’t?

      • Angry Viewer

        So Jimmy Kimmel is a pro liar from Vegas? Go figure.

      • kim

        Way to go Kimmel!! Jay Leno sucks! He needs to hang it up! He’s not funny!! I hope no one watches him when he’s back on TV. He stole that show from Conan! Jay Leno needs to crawl back underneath that rock!! LOSER!!

      • Phil

        Tara, well you certainly sound like the female equivalent, so shut your big fat pie hole already!

      • Dexter

        That was absolutely hilarious…

    • Team CoCo

      I actually was happy to see Kimmel humiliate Leno on a live show – he deserved it! I think it’s great that some people like Letterman and Kimmel will stand up to Leno because it really isn’t fair what happened to Conan O’Brien and his 200 staff members, but Leno could really care less.

      We need to see Kimmel and others beat this situation to death… over and over and over again. I’ll just keep laughing until it seriously hurts Leno’s ratings (probably has already). Leno had his time and his lack of ratings shows people only watch him either because the tonight show has great writers and is such a famous show, or they were just plain used to it after watching it for so long… kinda like smoking, you know it’s bad for you but you cant stop doing it.

      • dave

        its not live.

      • Jack James

        Leno may not be live…But Kimmel is…Hence the name of his show”Kimmel Live” The point is Jimmy can handle the live show and Leno cant. All leno ever tried to do was imitate those who came before him. Nothing new or creative about him. Johnny Carson was great because he was himself, not a pretender. Letterman is great for the same reason. Leno is a hack. I predict Leno will hold on for maybe another year or 2 but then he’s done and with him he will destroty the Tonight Show franchise. Who would want to take the job following him when there’s the chance he will renig and want his job back. At least when Favre cam back he was still talented!

      • innerjuju

        It was Jay and his 200 staff members or Conan and his 200 staf members. Conan didn’t have to lose his show. Look at all the shows that get moved from time period to time period all the time. Everyone could still be on the air and everyone still employed except that Conan had his feelings hurt. (But 35 million sure makes them feel better and yet, aren’t his staff members unemployed because of him?)

        Kimmel shouldn’t be surprised should people elect not to come on his show at this point. Had Jay been a guest on Jimmy’s show then the questions should have been about Jay. On Jay’s show, the questions should have been about Jimmy. Jimmy had no right to “play the host and ask the questions” on someone else’s show.

      • cmon

        You guys don’t get it. Kimmel and Letterman are on Conan’s side because when it comes to ratings, Leno beat them both. It’s in their best interest to make Leno look like the bad guy so when he comes back, they hope Leno’s ratings will stay low so their network will get more money. I love Conan but the fact is that he didn’t bring in the ratings. Leno was #1 up to the last day. So of course Letterman and Kimmel are against him. It’s business. This was their chance to ruin his reputation and obviously, it’s working.

      • slinko

        Regardless of your team affiliation, you should remember that Jay did not choose to take anything from anybody. If you want to accuse anyone of backstabbing, why don’t you aim your sites at the network. After all, it was NBC, not Jay, that fired Jay and moved him to 10pm. And it was NBC, not Jay, that decided that the move was a bad idea. So Conan got a raw deal — hey , that’s show business. Whether or no you prefer Jay or Conan or Dave, the host is just the host as long as the network allows things to be. Get off of Jay’s back.

    • Angry Viewer

      So Jimmy Kimmel is a professional liar from Las Vegas? Wow, imagine that.

    • Jules

      Kimmel’s interview was the best thing about that horrible show. Jimmy Kimmel is right on, nobody gives a crap about Leno’s stupid questions, they want to hear about the Leno/Conan debacle.

    • Mark

      Just another useless “comedian” trying to make a name….I don’t watch any of them, just a waste of my time.

      • Steve

        News flash, your comment was a bigger waste of time, moron!

      • @steve

        Calm down nutcase, it’s not that deep.

    • adamsmith

      Kimmel is far funnier than Leno, see the Man Show for further proof. Unless of course you are over 55 or have such a milk toast sense of humor as to find nothing funny and everything offensive in some way.

  • dee dee

    Jimmy is brilliant

    • Not really

      He’s actually pretty dumb.

      Especially the point where he says
      “But he just stood there, kind-of reading through the questions like a robot”

      So if Leno HAD changed the questions, then Kimmel would be upset that Leno wasn’t addressing the Conan-Leno situation. If Leno DIDN’T change the questions, suddenly he’s a robot

      If anything, it’s GOOD that Leno didn’t change the questions – he addressed the Leno-Conan controversy head on…just like Kimmel wanted to.

      I think Kimmel just joined the wahhhmbulance with Leno…both sound equally as whiny now.

      • vanilla

        I think Jimmy was refering to how Leno only read the questions of his cue cards, he didn’t address Jimmy’s answers or try to banter at all.

        He sort of stood there like a deer in the headlights- if he was quicker on his feet (or a better comedian) he would have played along or made a joke back.

        Jimmy really nailed him and he didn’t even have one comeback.

      • i’m a lady

        he’s saying that the whole thing was supposed to be boring and scripted, and wasn’t interested in doing that. how does that make him dumb?

      • Joshua

        Jimmy was referring to how Leno did not fight back implying that Leno has no improvisational skills, the true mark of a comedian. I find this to be true. Leno relies solely on the writers and the cue cards and he really can’t veer much off course; he can’t be funny in the moment. So he isn’t a good comedian but he is a great comedic writer.

      • Hutchy

        Ask yourself this: what would Letterman have done in that situation? Would he have continued to plow ahead like a robot, allowing Jimmy to destroy him on his own show? Or we he have made a retort? There is nothing Dave likes more then that kind of unexpected, unscripted banter with a guest, and he is the undisputed master at it. The list of guests who have tried to get cute with Letterman and got promptly obliterated is endless. Thats because Dave has an actual comedic mind, while Leno at this point is nothing but a prop comic (his props being idiots on the street or typos in newspaper headlines).

      • @Vanilla

        I agree, to an extent

        But when Kimmel says something like “We have children to feed, you only have cars…leave our shows alone” (paraphrasing)….what exactly is Leno supposed to say to that?

        I mean really, is Leno supposed to stand there and defend himself in the middle of taping his show? It just makes no sense.

        And the 10 @ 10 segment isn’t a back and forth discussion between Leno & the guest…it’s a Q&A.

      • What?

        Did you even watch the segment? Leno’s questions had nothing to do with the controversy. When Kimmel tried to steer them in that direction, Leno just ignored it and went on to the next question.

      • Hannah

        Well, if the 10@10 segment is just reading lines of a card, then why don’t I have that job? I mean, I can do that. Buuut NBC is paying a washed up comedian millions of dollars to do it. Jacked. Jimmy is my new hero of late night!

      • harley quinn

        Wow, you’re dumb. What Kimmel was saying is that any GOOD comedan worth their salt can take an ad lib riff and run with it. Kimmel took a stale lame ass segment and turned it into comedy gold, and Jay is just whining because Kimmel schooled him in the act of actually, you know, BEING FUNNY.

      • Jill M from the midwest.

        I think the whole segment was a contrived setup to make Leno a victim instead of the bad guy. There is no way, preinterview or not, that Leno didn’t know Kimmel would challange him after Kimmel did his whole show dressed up as Leno in a less than complimentary only a night or two before. There was absolutely no reason to bring him on without an expectation that something would happen.
        I have never thought that anything Leno ever did was not on a cue card, interviews included, right down to the fake tears from Kanye or the oh shucks from Hugh Grant. The guy is manipulative and self serving. This time it backfired.
        Celebrity is a commodity and we the public decide its value. Leno’s value is at an all time low.

      • Stephanie

        To “@Vanilla”

        How about responding, “Yes, but have you seen the cost of gas lately?”

      • Hutchy

        Stephanie shows how its done……maybe you can host the Tonight Show, girl!

      • jets

        No, read the article againg: Jimmy WANTED to talk about the Conan thing, and so he did; he WANTED Jay to fire back and try and be funny… which he didn’t: just stood and read the cue cards like a robot.

        You Jay fans are white-washed dumb with taste for generic recycled “yucks”

        check out my novels? :D THX!

      • aaron

        You can’t call someone dumb because you’re speculating on what they would have done if things had been different. That’s illogical. Your hypothetical scenario didn’t happen, so therefore you have no idea how he would have reacted. You just like Jay Leno because you have a terrible sense of humor and you enjoy safe and unimaginative comedy. That’s fine. So does my 65 year old aunt Jean.

      • Brett

        In fact, he’s not dumb, but rather inspired. The problem is the difference between Leno as a standup comic and Leno as a primetime show host. Leno as a comic, where there are no cameras, might have been able to mix it up with Kimmel, but Leno as host has become so programmed to do what’s “safe” that he could do nothing more than sit back and take it like a punch drunk prizefighter past his prime.

      • i’m a lady

        to @ vanilla
        Because you are not a comic (like Jay), you cannot think of a response, but a good comedian would. That’s the whole point of his argument.

      • Ken Nambu

        Anyone familiar with Jay’s show knows the 10 at 10 is not an interaction segment. Jay asks 10 questions from his cars and the guest answers them. THat’s how it works. If Jimmy wanted to interact with Jay about it, he should have asked to be a guest on the show. Jimmy made himself look like a little baby and more stupid than he usually does. Do people watch his show, anyway?

      • Anya

        Jimmy was hoping Jay would either just be honest, or improv like he would if he was being heckled at a comedy club, instead of sticking to a script.

      • Anne

        Ken. Jimmy said that he talked to the producer of the Jay Leno show about the questions having nothing to do with the late show debacle. So that should have given Jay an idea that Jimmy wanted to talk about it and would bring it up.

        Also, what kind of comedian is asking another comedian to be on 10 at 10 and just stick to some prescripted questions about his food habits?

      • kplan

        I’m not a fan of Kimmel. But ANY comedian worth his salt should be able to roll with the punches. Jay’s never been good at that. If it’s not pre-planned, it’s a hack-y joke. He’s a great writer when he gets a chance to sit down and think about it, but Jay’s never been exactly quick on his feet.

      • Bobbo

        As I recall Leno did have a comeback for Kimmel. I believe it was question 7 when Leno asked someting like “what are your three biggest fears”…and the third (C) option Leno gave to Kimmel was that he (Leno) might jump to ABC and take Kimmels spot.

      • Dysthymia83

        Leno has always been a lousy interviewer anyway. Even the people who still like him admit that, as they are more fans of his monologue or his segments like “Jaywalking”. Conan and Letterman are much better at ringing comedy out of interviews when the subject is rather dull and just telling a boring anecdote and plugging their latest product.

      • Kamatz

        “Anyone familiar with Jay’s show knows the 10 at 10 is not an interaction segment.”

        I would say that anyone familiar with Jay’s show would also know that it is not a comedy show. It’s odd to expect it to become one after all this time.

      • D

        @Bobbo-the comeback is supposed to be FUNNY. Jay threatening to bump someone’s program is NOT funny.

      • innerjuju

        The point here is that Jimmy KNEW he was going to ‘highjack’ the questions and therefore HAD time to prepare comebacks. Something he didn’t provide Leno. Why should he knock Leno for not thinking on his feet when Jimmy had plenty of time to think beforehand.

    • Terry

      Brilliant? I don’t think so. Not impressed with anyone named Jimmy on late night, though he’s the lesser talent.

      • Brett

        Well, none of the talk show hosts are brilliant. None of the talk show hosts from the past have been “brilliant.” Carson had a quick wit, quicker than anyone who’s come along since, but for “brilliance” you’ve got to step back a generation or two to guys who actually could think on their feet and could speak their minds without fear of what the network brass would say.

      • dacky

        While not great I think Kimel is the most improved late night host-his monolouges r the funniest skewing of daily soundbites n t.v.clips nightly.
        Once again-meanwhile Little Jimmy Fallon hides under his desk saying”..thank god their not talking about me…thank god their not talking about me…can I come out now Mr. Katzenberg???”

      • D

        Colbert is brilliant.

      • bill hater

        dacky, if you want funny skewing of tv clips and junk, tune into the soup. it’s not daily, but a daily rerun of it would be funnier and fresher than anything any jimmy on late night would think up.

      • barry heatherly

        D. I think Leno was joking when he indicated the possibility of going to ABC to bump Kimmel. Kimmel was joking about what had happened to Leno and Conan so what’s wrong with Leno doing the same to Kimmel? Their jobs were on the line too.

    • My

      See, Kimmel is getting the attention and that’s the main reason why he sucker punched Jay. To create controversy for himself. He wants to make the loudest noise to get attention and ride the issue as long as he can. He is nothing compared to Jay, Conan and Letterman but by doing what he did, he (thinks)is now “amongst” them… in his dreams!!!

      Do you think he will give up his seat for Conan???

    • cjsamms

      “If I made any mistake, the mistake I made was thinking Jay would have anything other to say than what was written on the cue cards. I figured he’d get into it and mix it up. You know, at one time he was a comedian. But he just stood there, kind of reading through the questions like a robot and then goes off and rats me out to Oprah.”

    • KT

      ALL OF YOU IDIOTS HERE ARE BEYOND BELIEF! How long is everyone going to jump on this bashing Jay Leno bandwagon? Yeah its all fun and good when it is not YOU in the hot seat now is it? I just love how Conan is laughing all the way to the bank and yet he is defined as the victim here? Are you for real? What is happening here is everyone from Letterman to Kimmel are wary of Leno and how good his ratings were BEFORE NBC pulled the rug out from beneath him. If is NBC’s fault, NOT Leno, and all of you need to remember that!!! It’s like a pack of wolves attacking a deer, I am tired of this and think Leno deserves a break. You didn’t see him whinning when he was kicked off his show that was ahead in the ratings to give it to Conan who then drove it into the ground. If you all loved Conan that much then why the hell didn’t you watch him then? If you had he would still be there.

      • mel

        Why do you think so many are on this so-called “bashing Hay Leno bandwagon” KT? Well for starters it’s not a bandwagon since most of those people already had this opinion of him and second, Jay Leno is an unfunny, gutless drone.

      • dave

        you forgot talentless, manipulating and hackneyed. Leno’s standup was decent circa 1979…But in the last THIRTY YEARS the bar has been raised…people want originality, and a little verve wouldn’t hurt. Carson is and will always be the king…Letterman continues to be spontaneous and innovative…Leno? Hid in a closet to get an edge on the Tonight Show gig, continually steals bits (not to mention Stuttering John) from Howard Stern and other people MUCH funnier than him…and basically, his desire to stay in the spotlight has almost ruined NBC. Yeah, he’s a breath of fresh air.

      • jacksays

        Odd how you didn’t mention that, in the first TWO YEARS as new host of the TONIGHT SHOW, Leno’s ratings tanked compared to Johnny Carson’s. It’s a new host, a new audience has to be developed. That’s common sense.

        The reason Conan is getting the sympathy is because he was given a crappy lead-in (not strong drama’s like ER, etc.) and only seven months to build an entirely new audience.

        If Leno hadn’t wanted the show back NBC would have been very content to leave Conan in the chair until he built his audience. Conan handled this whole mess with class (and I’m NOT a Conan fan… or I wasn’t. I’m rethinking that position now after this mess). Leno has handled it like a spoiled little kid. His appearance on Oprah did nothing but try to blame it all on Conan (“his ratings were horrible, that’s the biz…” – your ratings were horrible at the beginning, too, Jay, but NBC held on until you got settled… no mention of that on Oprah, though).

        Conan will resurface and do well. I’m curious to see if the typical American short memory will kick in when we’re stuck watching the Olympics until March and then Leno returns and all the outrage is forgotten.

    • bridgey

      Letterman is the king, Leno is a back stabbing untalented a$$hole who can’t deliver a single line his writers give him. Ya, you think Leno writes ANY of his own show….think again…Kimmel ROCKS! An off the cuff improv master! Leno needs to go home and as Kimmel said “take care of his cars” and leave the rest of the world alone.

      • Buzz

        Jimmy definately scored some points during this whole ‘trainwreck of comedy’ debacle.
        And when I say scored, I mean his aim was true and his target(s) got hit …his primary target being Jay Leno’s ego.
        If he is getting any traction here , it is cause there was traction to be gotten…Well done, JK, hats off to ya

    • Penny

      I love Kimmel!

  • JP

    You invite a comedian on…who also competes with your network for viewers…what did you think was going to happen…its been great for everyone’s ratings…so its a win win for both Jay and Jimmy…

  • Al

    Jay has wandered into bizzarroland where he thinks he’s funny, people have sympathy for him, and everyone does what he says- see what you’ve created NBC….

    • Stacy


      And Jay Leno needs to stop repeating he was fired by NBC, two times.

      Last time I checked, when you’re fired from a company, you no longer have a job there.

  • LB

    Jimmy Kimmel is definitely one of the winners of this situation. From what I understand, he’s not even a friend of Conan’s and he knows what happened was wrong. So much for Oprah’s “the public doesn’t understand how TV works.” How does she account for all these TV personalities backing Conan (whether he’s their friend or not)? Maybe TV operates on different rules – I wouldn’t know the backstage going ones – but even most TV personalities understand how normal behavior works. And normal behavior would have dictated Jay to tell the truth 5 years and fight for his job (or go to another network) rather than wait around to get his old job back. Maybe Oprah and Jay have been on TV so long that they forgot that.

    • LB

      ones = ons and 5 years = 5 years ago. I wish I could edit.

      • Anonymoose

        well, i wish i could dance! and star in a broadway musical about puppies who just don’t care anymore!

      • dacky

        I think they missed u at bed check time at the asylum last night Anonymoose.

    • Tom Brazelton

      Both Leno and Oprah are so insulated by money that it would take an act of God to penetrate their bubble of self-importance.

      • Jackie

        Truer words were never spoken (er, written)!

      • thin

        I’m not an Oprah fan in any way, but to put her and Jay in the same category is just ridiculous. She has done a tremendous amount of work and spent a tremendous amount of money trying to make our world a better place. Leno has never done anything even remotely comparable.

      • thin

        And yes, just to be clear–both of them are tremendously self-important. The difference between them is that even though it’s irritating, it becomes much more forgivable when it’s coming from someone who is actually trying to do good.

      • Brett

        Truer words were never written.

      • jerry donahue

        did Oprah help you get “thin” thin?

      • Paul

        Oprah is full of crap. If she really cared about making the world a better place, then she’d take a couple hundred million and set up schools for poor American kids. Why does she need over a billion dollars? Why does she throw elbaorate parties for other rich people? She and her richie friends are like the Bourbons and we need to sharpen up the guillotine.

      • D

        @Paul-she opened up schools in Africa where the kids are not only poor, a lot of them are AIDS orphans. Why do you negate that? Why does it have to be American schools?

      • adamsmith

        “Why does it have to be American Schools”?? Are you kidding? Why help the country that we live in?? Let’s see, because we have an alltime high in unemployment rate, an alltime high in budget deficit and a president that is only making things worse. How about we focus on helping our own country and citizens before helping Africa?

    • J.B.

      I like this point regarding the public not understanding how tv works – how does that explain everyone in late night television taking Conan’s side?

      • D

        I am on Team Conan, but it is in Letterman’s and Kimmel’s self-interest to take Conan’s side. Ferguson and Fallon are not affected as much and they haven’t been involved as much.

    • Buzz

      hmmm …Oprah gives a platform for people-celebs who really don’t need or deserve one…Helloooooo Kirstie Alley. This Leno interview reminds me of her appearences, except that Leno is super wealthy( and has other options) and Alley is less so and even less employable in her field than Leno ( nevermind may reality show she may do )

      • Buzz


      • Brad

        I noticed Jay came on Oprah without one of her studio audiences. Was he afraid the public was too one-sided and on Conan (and Jimmy’s) side?

    • swthompson

      Dave pretty much said the same thing on his show.

  • Sean

    I’m glad Kimmel is calling Jay out on this, and I hope the Oprah damage-control backfires on Leno. Oprah was somewhat tough on him, but tough in a “concerned friend” way. I was STUNNED that 96% of Oprah’s viewers (80,000 of them) were siding with CONAN on this, and she seemed taken aback by it, but she still stopped short of asking some truly incisive questions, like:
    “How was Conan’s negotiated takeover in 2004 different from your negotiated takover in 1992?”
    “You said it was ‘unfair’ what happened to Conan, because ‘TV isn’t fair’ – couldn’t that have applied to YOU when you agreed to leave ‘The Tonight Show’ in 2004?”
    “When you realized that Conan was being pushed out of the ‘Tonight” job less than a year into his run, did you think back to how YOU felt when you were in the exact same position in 1993?”
    Really, the best forum to rebut this interview is probably a “REALLY!? With Seth and Amy” segment.

    • Scott

      Leno never “agreed” to leave. He was told he had to leave, and he did. Then NBC offered him the 10PM spot to keep him from going to a competing network. Conan’s ratings sucked, pure and simple. At the same time, putting Jay on at 10PM was a horrible idea from the beginning. NBC was under a lot of pressure from its affiliates to cancel Jay’s 10PM show. But, they still didn’t want him going to another network for a late night show that would take even more viewers from Conan. that’s why they offered him the half hour at 11:35. Once Conan turned down the move to 12:05, the rest fell into place.

      • jenn

        Leno wants TTS so bad that he doesn’t care if he ruins whatever reputation so long as HE GETS THE SHOW. Like a child with a toy, he can’t see anything beyond having that toy and it never even crossed his mind to let go. He said as much on Oprah. He said in tv there’s always someone waiting in the wings, but Conan’s rating could have been even worse and they still wouldn’t have given the show to Jay but for the fact that Jay’s ratings were crap. He said there’s always someone waiting in the wings as if NBC would’ve given TSS to someone completely different had he not been there to take it from Conan. Christ, Leno thinks everyone is as dumb as he is if he thinks we can’t figure this out.

      • Brett

        Conan’s ratings didn’t “suck.” He just lost the lead that Leno’s show had held over the Letterman show. The playing field had been somewhat leveled. Conan didn’t have time to develop the audience that Leno built over 15 years. True – Conan didn’t have and doesn’t have as wide-ranging an appeal as Leno. I know there are some who think he’s a “comic genius,” but others who don’t find him funny at all.

      • lovesurvivor

        It will be very interesting to see what happens with Jay’s ratings once he’s back at 11:35 with no good lead-in from a 10pm show. Of course, they may actually start getting better lead-ins at 10pm now that he’s not on there. But I bet if he’s not given a good lead-in his ratings will tank. And that’s certainly what he deserves.

    • Ken Nambu

      Folks, Conan wasn’t pushed out of The Tonight Show. He failed but the network still wanted to keep him as the host. He was given an opportunity and he passed on it. With life being so competitive, when you’re given an opportunity, you take it. Conan admitted he walked away from The Tonight Show, and moving it to 12:05 wouldn’t have killed the franchise. Jay probably would have done his show for five years, and Conan and The Tonight Show would move back to 11:35.

      Conan was given an opportunity to keep his job that he was failing at miserably, and he walked. THEN Jay was offered the job back that he loved. Who would have said no to that? Obviously, Jay loves it more than Conan, otherwise he would have stayed. Conan’s the selfish baby in all this, and people who side with him are either Cuckoo Cocos or just plain stupid.

      • Anne

        How did Conan fail? Because he didn’t get to nr. 1 in seven monts (it took years for Jay to get to nr. 1)? Also 3 of those seven months were during the summer which are “off season” and people are outside or on holiday and not watching the Tonight Show.

        You can look at it like this. When Jay took over in 1992 when Johnny Carson was pushed out by NBC. Johnny Carson, being a gentleman, didn’t go to another network or cut the legs from under Jay by having a show at 10. Instead he bowed out leaving the stage free for Jay. But Jay still bombed and he bombed for years (3 to be exact).

        In this instance Jay is pushed out but instead of behaving like Carson and bowing out or do a Letterman and go to another network he pushed himself to the front of the stage, making sure with his Jay Leno show that Conan wouldn’t make it. And at first chance snatched the show back.

      • John

        @Ken Nambu

        You are delusional.

        NBC forced Conan out.
        Jay is scum that killed Conan’s ratings with his terrible show and then gladly took back TTS.

        You may like Jay (and others do). But the simple OBJECTIVE fact is that Conan got screwed. He was given a terrible lead-in that gave him no chance of success (The Jay Leno Show). There’s a reason the affiliates were getting upset, The Leno Show were killing THEIR ratings as well.

      • KT

        Oh stop your babbling! Ken is right. Why do all of you think you know more than the rest? Conan was given a choice, Jay never was. What he did was leave gracefully, Conan did not. Yet he is the victim here? Right! Such a victim that he walks away a millionaire plenty times over and still gets to make a pilot for NBC. All Jay gets is what he had in the first place. Oh and for those who are trying to blame Conan’s low ratings because of Jay’s lead in show, well you ever heard the that handy thing called the remote? Yeah all you have to do is push these buttons with numbers on it and you can actually tune in to Conan at 10:30. Oh you didn’t want to? Well hell stop your bitching then!

      • Bill

        Please, Conan leaving a show he had dreamed of hosting his entire life was not loving it? He was willing to leave it rather then see a landmark franchise and tradition that has applied to the show from the /start/ destroyed? He was willing to stand up to network execs and say no. Why wasn’t Jay? If they “fired” him twice as he claims, then odds were very good that they weren’t going to toss him now if he stood up and said, ‘I’m sorry this is wrong.’ If they had, then he could have gone elsewhere as he claims he initially planned to. The reason seems pretty simple, he wanted the show back! Given the time Leno had on TTS who knows what Conan might have done. But that is just the thing, none of us ever will know, and Leno and NBC are both to blame for that. Conan is the victim here, and more power to Jimmy Kimmel and the other various late night hosts, and celebrities for that matter, for tearing them a new one over it.

        As for those little buttons on the remote, use your head for more then a easy place to balance a hat. Nobody would be worried about lead ins and such if they could count on drone TV viewers actually switching channels. Leno at 10 pm was a bad idea, and NBC was well aware of the consensus of opinion that said so even immediately after it was announced. It cost jobs, hurt the network, the affiliates, and all parties involved. NBC wanted it all and now they are reaping their just deserts. Granted they are the real villains here, but Leno is little better.

  • vnova

    Kimmel is a stupid little weasel – whatever is fodder for a joke, then so be it – but shut up and stop making it so personal already. Unless Jim-boy is really just jeolous that he’s such a loser himself.

    • Ambient Lite

      Actually, Jimmy Kimmel has an excellent sense of right and wrong. He handled himself with more grace amidst the whole David Letterman scandal than anyone else, and was respectful of it being a largely private issue – I think they call it ‘having class’. This concept is entirely foreign to Jay Leno, and probably you too vnova.

      • Terry

        Yeah, of course most of the late night hosts handled the Letterman situation with kid gloves. Of course when the Tiger Woods thing dropped, they jumped on it like a pack of hyenas. Dave was slamming Tiger pretty good, the hypocrite. His behavior has pretty much ended me watching Letterman. Of course my respect for him went down when he kissed Paris Hilton’s behind. Truthfully, late night hasn’t really been a must see situation since Carson quit. I do like Craig though and try to watch it when I can. But the late night host have mostly given up the talk part to focus on bad comedy between highlighting actors latest projects(which is no longer the only game in town, I’ve seen so many avenues of promotions on films now, if you’re going on late night to spread the word and people haven’t heard of your film it’s probably gonna bomb) and these ridiculous reality clowns(no way I can call them stars).

      • i’m a lady

        Terry, you can’t really compare a guy who had a prolonged affair with one woman the same as a guy who is notoriously on the prowl with every vegas cocktail waitress that looks in his direction. There are shades of grey here.

    • Clearly

      …Kimmel is just milking this story for anything he can (even though his numbers haven’t improved one bit since this story broke)

      • i’m a lady

        Who cares? His straightforwardness is refreshing and funny.

    • Mbook

      What the hell are you talking about?

    • Isembard

      Mental Giant, do you know the definitions of “personal” or “joke”? Clearly not.

  • Betsy

    I was always wondered why Jay Leno had to step away from the Tonight Show when Johnny Carson stayed until he decided to retire. Why was there a exit time for Jay when the ratings were excellent to end with anyway?

    • mary

      Not true. Read any account of the original ‘late night wars’ in 1993, and you’ll see that Jay Leno’s manager was responsible for pushing Carson out in a pretty underhanded way.

    • mikeman

      actually leno did the same thing to carson… he was the permanent guest host and started getting offers from other networks to host his own show. rather then let him go, nbc offered him the tonight show and asked carson to give it up. carson, who wanted the tonight show to go to letterman, agreed to retire and leno got the tonight show.

      it’s telling that johnny carson only made three post-tonight show appearences. the simpsons and two letterman visits. he also wrote jokes for dave up until his death. he avoided leno like the plague.

      • Paulina

        Hello, no complaints here. Just want to say that the store on Bloor is great and has been at times a real ilvesafer! And keep stocking the Fraktals!

    • @Betsy

      Sorry Betsy, but that’s not how it happened. Johnny wasn’t ready to retire, Johnny was pushed out, there was a lot of behind the scenes back stabbing from Leno. He claims it was all his manager, and he didn’t know anything about it, but if you believe that, then you are dumber than even those Jaywalking dipsh*ts. This was all detailed in an excellent book called The Late Shift that was later turned into an HBO movie.

  • Joel

    Is it just me or is Jimmy Kimmel the only late night host that came out of this NBC mess a winner?

    • Dan

      Winner? Even his scripted stuff isn’t funny. He will still be the third wheel once Leno gets back. Never liked Kimmel, even when he was doing his schtick on local radio. If ABC wanted to compete with Dave and Jay, they should push a ton of $$$ on the table to steal Ferguson, fi there’s any chance of getting him.

    • D

      I thought Letterman was a winner too. Funny stuff from Letterman and Kimmel.

  • Pingdis

    Jay’s “well its just business” argument blows his comedic persona up – people now see him as selfish and, at the core, not funny.

  • Tim

    Hopefully Conan will take Kimmel’s job. Kimmel’s contract should be up this year. ABC is perfect for Conan and Kimmel’s not getting the ratings.

    • Dan

      Haha, I am sure Kimmel would love that!

      • Mohamed

        You and I , nice song by Lady Ga Ga (I like it); makes me think of Fiona alot (you and I forever, ttrasing in Memphis at Graceland, right Fiona?). I also wrote a song with the same ttitle back in 93 when I was working at a summer job at a daycare wit the same title (You and I). I hope to use it one day when I marry Fiona (I think that would be very romantic) YOU AND FIONA, Forever XXXXOOOO. Miss yiu more and more each day and feel more miserable then ever, but still as always, hoping to be together soon).LOVERainbowRay

    • D

      What are you talking about?

  • orville

    Good for you Jimmy! He hit it on the nose as to why Leno just can’t cut it anymore–he’s no longer a comedian. Kimmel was essentially acting the role of the heckler in the audience and Jay couldn’t handle it. Any comedian worth his salt knows how to effectively deal with a heckler.

    • Ambient Lite

      I’ve been sayin’ it for years. Leno’s just an overpaid joke reader.

      • KT

        Abient Lite and you are a overrated idiot!

    • KT

      Orville is that what you call it? I call it poor manners. There is a fine line and Jimmy crossed it. It is getting so old all this bashing Leno. Did you all forget who started this? NBC!

      • Cathy

        Uh KT, Kimmel was responding to Leno’s feeble attempt to draw sympathy during the Oprah interveiw where he said Kimmel sucker-punched him. Jimmy had every right to address it and he did so in an honest, straight-forward way. Leno should take notes.

      • KT

        Uh Cathy, um really? Actually Orville was talking about when Kimmel was on Jay. Why don’t YOU read it again hun. Maybe YOU are the one who should take notes.

    • Swapnil

      Who is this guy , really?. He must work for ABC. I’ve done some rercsaeh on the domains mentioned, etc. These are infact registered in other names or organsations. The registrant for hansofoundation, as a lot of people know is: , Well. My theory is that this is in fact Alvar Hanso’s email. I’m dropping a message to him right now.

  • Leno Lover

    LOL! Suck it Leno!

  • Leno Lover

    Suck it Leno!! He is plain and simple…a scumbag!

  • Bob

    AWESOME! Go Jimmy!

    • denhunter

      Kimmel is glomming on Leno so that the few people who watch these shows will stop asking ‘Jimmy Who?’.
      It’s guy who’s made a living off of Howard Stern appearances and girls on trambolines. Yeah…he’s a comedian…not.

    • slinko

      Jimmy is a low-class nobody that is milking his airtime for all it’s worth. He spun the story to make Jay seem like a dolt. Common courtesy would suggest that if one is invited to appear on a peer’s show, you have fun, but treat your host with respect. This is a perfect example of how today’s society is losing its class. You would have never seen anything like this on talk-shows of years past. Jay knows how to joke, but he also knows where to draw the line. Is it any wonder that the Tonight Show with Jay Leno remained number one up until the last day? Numbers do not lie folks.

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