David Letterman, Conan O’Brien Bash Jay Leno on “Late Show”
(NEW YORK) — On Thursday’s Late Show with David Letterman, Conan O’Brien made his first appearance in 13 years. O’Brien’s short-lived stint as host of NBC’s The Tonight Show, and his ouster in favor of Jay Leno were topics of discussion.
Letterman has exhibited somewhat harsh feelings for Leno for what happened to O’Brien and himself. Letterman was famously skipped over by NBC when Johnny Carson retired from The Tonight Show in 1992. Leno got the job and that damaged the relationship between the two late night hosts.
It seems Leno’s situation with O’Brien brought up some old feelings for Letterman.
When O’Brien first came out and sat down, he and Letterman didn’t say anything to each other, but just smiled.
Finally, Letterman blurted out, “I think the longer we just sit here, the more uncomfortable it will make Jay.”
O’Brien laughed, and said, “You know Jay’s watching,” and then, imitating Leno said, “Dave doesn’t look happy…I think he’s gonna pack it in, soon.”
During the lengthy segment, Letterman said he’s known Leno since the 1970s when they were both young comics in Los Angeles, and remembered Leno being “the funniest guy…the guy you always wished you could be.”
However, Letterman quickly added, “He was also a bit of a brat.”
Letterman told O’Brien that when the O’Brien/Tonight Show mess happened he thought to himself, “Oh, there’s the Jay I know.”
O’Brien stepped down as host of The Tonight Show in January 2010, and was soon replaced by Leno, after Leno’s primetime talk show was canned. Letterman recalled relishing the criticism Leno got at the time from other comics who rallied to O’Brien’s side.
Letterman told O’Brien, “I was delighted by everything that happened — except you losing your job…I refer to that period as the golden age of broadcasting.”
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