Barbara Walters returns to 'The View': Guest David Letterman says he'd like to kill Jon Stewart

Barbara Walters returned to The View to kick off the show’s 14th season. Looking fit after heart surgery, she received taped greetings from celebs including Elton John and Justin Bieber, plus a big hug from a first-time View guest: David Letterman.

Letterman loves to talk about his decade-old quintuple bypass operation, and was delighted that Walters was willing to reveal a bit of her post-op scar. He talked medical specifics — “Did you love the morphine? Wasn’t that fantastic?” — but Walters wanted to steer the conversation to late-night matters.

Asked whether he minded that Jon Stewart has lately been beating him in his Emmy category, Letterman joked, “Oh, yes — I’d like to kill the little bastard.”

Letterman said he’d be watching Conan O’Brien’s new show, but as to whether he watched his own show, he said no. “Why should I be different from the rest of the country?” he said, referring to his regular ratings defeats from The Tonight Show.

Speaking of which, Walters pushed him to comment yet again on Jay Leno. His answer was slightly, intriguingly different from ones he’s given in the past: Gesturing to another View co-host and referring to Leno’s retaking of The Tonight Show, he said, “Whoopi has known him for years, and we got an opportunity to see the real Jay Leno in action there.”

Walters did not press him to explain what he meant by that, but Letterman and Goldberg exchanged sly glances.

Walters then brought up his 1995 Oscar hosting gig. Noting that “I kinda sucked” at the job, Letterman said he’d been asked to host the Oscars again. “I had my shot; I screwed it up.” He said his reply had been, “‘Come on, whattya, drinking?'”

Letterman also said he’d like to have more children. And he’d probably like a new dog. As he has on his own show, he told the View audience that his family’s latest canine, Sully, was a lot of trouble to train. When Walters asked what kind of dog it was, Letterman said, “Part yellow Lab, part crime lab.”

Follow: @kentucker

Comments (95 total) Add your comment
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  • Snarf

    I think Lettermen needs to up his meds he seems…manic lately.

    • Hypnogal

      Manic? Are you serious? He’s one of the most laid-back people on TV. Maybe it’s your meds that need checking.

    • JK

      If manic is code for hilarious, then I hope he never changes. Letterman kills me.

    • Sahil

      You’re insane, our tax money gets poleod together. This is about returning the tax rates back to where they were supposed to be. The tax breaks were temporary because we could not afford them So you have not proven anything The rich should be taxed more than the poor, if you’re really an economist you would know why There’s a reason EVERY developed country (other than communist) has a proportional income tax. So are you a communist?

  • Sean

    He’s a comedian; he’s joking. Of course he doesn’t want to kill Jon Stewart.

    • David

      How disappointing it was to read this article, I though we had an actual feud.

      • wino

        given Ken Tucker’s odd obsession with Jay Leno, it doesnt surprise me he gave this story a misleading title.

      • The Devil

        Huh? Ken Tucker hates Jay Leno. He’s made that fairly clear in almost all of his articles regarding the whole Conan vs. Jay thing.

  • megr

    he’s so funny. i love you david

  • Sally

    What an ugly yellow background for The View this season. Seriously…..that stage needs a MAJOR makeover. It is very ugly. Get Nake Berkus to redo it, pronto!

    • Julz

      That’s an old picture. The background is a light blue/greenish color.

  • cndn610

    Elizabeth could not hide her contempt for Letterman. I could rewind the DVR but I think she spoke to him only once just before the end of the three segment interview. Up to that point she seemed to glare at him. She was a little more relaxed after she asked him the one question and did finally smile.

    I thought it was a great interview but obviously they had no plans to ask him any questions about his recent issues with staff “involvement”.

    • jk

      Probably because those issues are not that recent.

    • TVGord

      With all due respect, I think you’re delusional. I just watched it and I didn’t see any glaring from Elisabeth (see? It’s not THAT hard to spell her name correctly). I love Dave and I like Elisabeth (one of the few conservative voices on television for those of us who refuse to watch FauxNews). It’s okay for people of opposing “View”s to sit in the same room without reading all kinds of false impressions into it, y’know? Sheesh, I’m getting sick of this polarization of opinions in this society.

      • Mikos

        Me too, I’m a lefty but I pretty much agree with your whole post.

      • TVGord

        Thanks, Mikos. I’m more left than right myself, but I like hearing BOTH sides.

  • Otis

    The simple reason why Leno is beating Letterman is that Letterman and his show are stale and boring. I prefer Chelsea Lately (Chelsea Handler) of either of them myself.

    • Jeremy DC

      I always thought Leno was the stale and boring one. IMO, Chelsea Handler is not funny at all. It seems to me she tries to say outrageous stuff just so she can be considered outrageous and controversial. There’s no real humor there.

      • TVGord

        Right on, Jeremy!

      • DaLegend

        I cant stand Chelsea Handler at all. She brings on these comedians for her little round table and all of them just sound unfunny and almost bored with being there. You have to actually see these people in person to get the comedy that Chelsea kills in all of the comedians and her crappy guests that she brings on. That woman is just a train wreck. Take her off tv completely.

    • wassabi

      Love Chelsea’s show! They tend to repeat jokes, but it’s still the most relevant late night show.

    • dom

      Jay appeals to the Full House crowd, those kind of people gave that rancid show high ratings for years. Jay is the definition of stale humor, but that’s what a lot of America likes, so more power to them I suppose. I don’t watch any of them regularly, and have never seen this Chelsea woman. Dave is still amusing, but nothing will ever beat his 80’s hey day on late night, brilliant television.

      • the sad thing

        The sad part is that when Leno, Letterman and Conan go up against each other in a few months, Letterman and Conan are going to split the hip audience while Leno will continue to attract his base ‘Family Circus crowd’. So, Leno will ultimately come out the big winner in this. Letterman should have given his show to Conan and gone out classy.

    • Shawna

      And Leno’s show is not stale?

      • Xavi

        You are hopeless. I thank god that pelpoe are actually taking time to understand these things that I explained (in vain) to you. I have many that PM me asking where they can get this information to learn more about it. I of course send them to resources that are non partisan, just the facts on these issues. The places that the left (so far) have not attacked. The places that show truth. That gives me hope for our nation. Even though their are those (like you) who are clueless

    • giantslor

      The reason Leno is beating Letterman is because most Americans are idiots, and idiots watch crap. I thought this was common knowledge.

  • Sue1

    “Part yellow lab, part crime lab.”
    Love that, I have one of the same breed.

  • Mariane

    And Jay Leno is not stale and boring? He’s doing Bob Hope’s old act.

    • P.

      He’s very much like Bob Hope in that he’s capable of telling obvious jokes.

    • Shawna


  • Bill Lally

    Johnny Carson would NOT be proud of the manner in which Dave has been acting as of late.
    Bitter and sans any class what-so-ever. In particular, I’ve had enough Leno bashing.

    • Melissa Rivers

      You’ve apparently never heard about how Johnny acted regarding Joan Rivers when she got the chance to host her own show.

      • whynot

        They BOTH didnt handle it well. He didnt like that she went behind his back and kept lying to him whenever he asked if she was going up against him.

    • Juuuust a little outside

      Yeah, ask Joan Rivers about classy and bitterless Johnny.

    • Jenn

      Johnny Carson was NOTORIOUSLY horrible to Joan Rivers after she started her own talk show. Even when Joan’s husband Edgar killed himself, Johnny never gave up his bad blood toward Joan and never sent her condolences, etc. It’s TV folks, and that was real life. At that point in time, he lost any and all respect he had from me and a lot of other people.

    • Andrew M

      Besides the Rivers bashing, he also hated Leno and NBC. When ever Leno would guest host, Carson would always trash talk him. He wanted Dave to get the job. But Leno went behind Carson and started sleeping with the NBC suits.

      • Steve T,

        Who the hell would want to sleep with Jay Leno?

      • wino

        well given that carson hated leno, why WOULDNT leno go behind his back? LOL plus it was NBC’s show, not Carson’s…something both he and Letterman need to realize.

      • Jessica

        C’mon wino…you do a job for almost 30 years (not 30 because Leno orchestrated his early retirement) and you’re going to be invested in its future. Similarly, you would hope that the people you’ve been working with for nearly 3 decades would have some respect for your opinion. Obviously, NBC had the same attitude you have though. “Don’t let the door hit ya, Johnny. It’s our show not yours.” Sad, really.

  • Anne

    Yes, it’s very fashionable to best up on Jay Leno. But unless either Letterman or Whoopie comes to the Gulf Coast and does a show FOR FREE to benefit the shrimping families down here who lost a year’s income to the oil spill, I’ll stick with Stale Yet Generous Jay.

    • Anne

      Jay brought in $100,000 in a couple of hours. Dave and Whoopi can “exchange sly glances” from now to doomsday, but that ain’t helping anyone, in any way, at all.

      • Josh

        When Jay Leno decides he doesn’t need over a hundred cars, and decides to give them to charities, or at least give them the money, then I’ll believe he’s sincere.

    • Jessica

      Call me cynical, but Jay’s out rehabing his image here. Plus, how much of a tax break did he get for performing and donating the proceeds? I’m guessing a pretty nice one….

      • Large Marge

        No, Jay has done stuff like this for years. I know it’s easy to just go with the Jay’s a bad guy meme, but people are more complex than that. I can agree that he’s been shady at times to get ahead, but that makes him no worse than most in Hollywood, and the fact that he keeps coming back on top despite the hate is just hilarious to me.

      • Jessica

        And how many years has he been getting tax breaks for those shows? Interesting how you didn’t address that part… I’m not saying that he isn’t, in part, trying to help people. I’m sure that is a part of his motivation. But I don’t see him as being the George Clooney type that drops everything and wants to organize fund raisers. He strikes me more as the “well, OK, sure I can do something if you bring me a good proposal” type. And, in the case of the recent Gulf show, it doesn’t hurt that he needs to rehab his image and seem like the nice guy again…

        As noted later in the comments with the writer’s strike example, he doesn’t seem to be inherently generous. That’s fine. Most people aren’t. :)

    • RiverBilge

      Since you have no idea how much Letterman or Goldberg gave PRIVATELY, you can’t really make that comment. Jay does whatever he will get applauded for. He could easily have given 20 times that amount out of his own pocket and not made a show of it. He’s a fake. Always has been, always will be.

  • Newfie

    I loved loved loved seeing Dave today. My favorite quote was “Whoopi has known him for years, and we got an opportunity to see the real Jay Leno in action there.” because everyone in the industry knows Jay is an out for himself kind of person! But as soon as those cameras turn on he ACTS like he isn’t and has a lot of people fooled!

    • DE

      It’s show business. Isn’t everyone involved out for themselves???

      • Bill

        Well, yeah. But Leno is reportedly egregious. Comedians seem to talk the worst about two people: noted material stealer Carlos Mencia (seriously, check out some the YouTube videos of Joe Rogan busting him for this) . . . and Leno.

      • Dalla

        You know what? I love them both. I also enjoy Conan. Why do we have to choose sides. They are all great comedians. Let’s be grateful we can watch them live now.

    • Alix

      I’d love to know what the sly glances referred to!

  • RyRyNYC

    I personally don’t find letterman funny at all, but I don’t watch Leno either – I’m a Chelsea Lately watcher. But as much as everybody bitches about Leno being stale, more people watch him than (sometimes) the other combined… so get over it.

    • RiverBilge

      RyRyNYC, we are not ALL gay men. Some of us need a show that appeal to non-gay people so Chelsea Handler is just not an option. Jon Steward followed by a channel switch for Jimmy Kimmel is the best late night line up (sorry Colbert, you go straight to TiVo til the next day)

  • whynot

    I ve heard that about Carlos Mencia but not Jay.

    • whynot

      and Dane Cook.

    • Jessica

      I don’t think the point was that Jay gets trashed for stealing. Jay just gets trashed by other comics in general. The biggest complaints I’ve heard are 1) that he has a platform to promote up and coming comedians and chooses not to because popular singers/bands bring in higher ratings and 2) that he used to be a cutting edge comedian with chops and now he’s dumbed his comedy down to the lowest common denominator and cannot even think on his feet anymore. Most talk about how you can see him ignoring most of an interview and trying really hard to think of one-liners to throw out. There’s nothing that he says that’s really just witty and organic to the conversation or meant to advance the topic, albeit in a humorous way. Not my opinion…just what I’ve read/seen in articles where pros are bashing him. Flame them, not me. :)

      • Jessica

        I should add though…to be fair…Jay has stolen a LOT of material for the Tonight Show. Jaywalking was a Howard Stern bit first, for example. And Headlines was once Letterman’s Small Town News. But the other things seem to irk comedians generally speaking more (Stern, however gets irate about the theft for obvious reasons).

      • Alix

        I’m a Dave fan, but will admit that back in the day (before the Tonight Show), Leno was *hilarious* when he appeared on Dave’s show. The two of them were great. Trust me, this actually happened…

      • Jessica

        Very true Alix. I’ve seen a lot of the clips (I was too young to stay up at the time.) They were quite a pair…and Leno was indeeed genuinely funny.

      • PDY

        That Late Show promo for the Super Bowl this year featuring Oprah, Dave and Leno proved that Dave and Leno can be funny together and that ad was hilarious.

  • TVGord

    I loved the mention of a sly glance between Dave and Whoopi! Jay’s backhanded behavior has been no secret for anyone who follows comedians, and it’s such supreme validation to those of us who have been following the saga for years and who have been waiting for DECADES for the other Leno shoe to finally drop!

    • Alix

      What happened between Leno and Whoopi????????

      • TVGord

        Nothing that I know of, but Whoopi was around to see the way Jay screwed over other comedians back in the day, and coasted on his “aw, shucks, I’m just trying to make everybody happy” attitude that has worked for him right up until the Conan debacle (when people finally started to see how disingenuous he can be).

  • Seraphim

    Luckily I turned on my TV this morning! I half expected another rerun of the View so it was a pleasant surprise to see Dave on! I thought he did a great job! Dave, please don’t be shy, make more guest appearances!

    • PDY

      Lately, Dave makes guest appearances only on TV shows featuring hosts who had recently undergone heart surgery. Case in point, The Regis and Kelly show where Dave made his first ever guest appearance to welcome back Regis after his hear bypass surgery. And now he appears on the View to welcome Barbara back from her own heart surgery.

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