Entries in Jay Leno (16)


Jay Leno Continues to Poke Fun at NBC Execs

Photo by Kevin Winter/Tonight Show/Getty Images for The Tonight Show(NEW YORK) -- Jay Leno isn't letting up on the jokes targeting his NBC bosses.

The Tonight Show host has repeatedly poked fun at network executives on his late-night program over the past week, especially in light of reports that NBC wants to replace him with Jimmy Fallon next year.

Leno told his studio audience during Friday's edition of The Tonight Show that he'd had dinner with NBC executives, who offered to "make it up to me." He joked, "They are sending my wife and I on an all-expenses-paid Carnival Cruise," alluding to the company's recent mishaps, including the engine fire on the Carnival Triumph last month that stranded passengers in the Gulf of Mexico for days.

Leno also made light of reports regarding a Canadian man who'd had a knife pulled from his back after three years, saying, "He must have worked at NBC, too."

NBC has only confirmed that it is building a new studio in New York for Fallon, the current host of Late Night.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Is Jay Leno Exiting "The Tonight Show" Next Year?

Kevin Winter/Tonight Show/Getty Images for The Tonight Show(LOS ANGELES) -- NBC may soon announce Jay Leno's exit from The Tonight Show

While the network says it has no plans for Leno’s departure, two "high-level industry sources" tell The Hollywood Reporter that the network will likely announce in May that the 2013-14 television season will be Leno's last as host of the late-night talk show.

Those sources speculate that NBC will move Jimmy Fallon from his 12:35 ET Late Night slot into the coveted 11:35 time slot, with a soft launch in the summer of 2014.  A Leno rep tells The Hollywood Reporter, "We do not speculate on rumor."

Another factor playing into NBC possibly moving Fallon is ABC’s shifting of Jimmy Kimmel to the 11:35 time slot in January.

A source says, "The more time Jimmy Kimmel is in that slot, the more the young audience goes that way, the harder it is for Jimmy Fallon to keep that audience."

This whole scenario may sound familiar.  Leno left The Tonight Show once before, in May 2009; he went on to host the ill-fated primetime talk show The Jay Leno ShowLate Night host Conan O'Brien replaced him on The Tonight Show, but O'Brien later left the network in an acrimonious split and Leno returned as host of The Tonight Show in March 2010.

One source added that if NBC should choose to announce the Leno-Fallon transition at or before the May upfront presentations for advertisers, the network would "get the benefit of selling Jay’s last year -- again."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Jimmy Kimmel: 'I Don't Believe Jay Leno Has Actual Feelings'

ABC/RANDY HOLMES(LOS ANGELES) -- Jimmy Kimmel has again expressed his feelings about his late-night rival Jay Leno.

In an interview with Playboy magazine, Kimmel addresses the fact that he's slammed Leno on several occasions in recent years -- most recently in a January issue of Rolling Stone.

The ABC host says, "I always feel bad if I hurt anybody's feelings, but I don't believe Jay Leno has actual feelings, and he doesn't seem to be that worried about other people's feelings."

Kimmel adds that he doesn't "even like talking about" Leno, and only does so when he's asked questions about him.

That may be, but Kimmel reveals to Playboy that he refuses to tell any joke that he can envision Leno telling.

Kimmel is much more complimentary of his childhood hero, CBS Late Show host David Letterman.

Kimmel says, "Dave transcends any time slot; he is the father of comedy as we now know it.  I wonder if he knows what he means to every comedian under 50 years old.  That NBC Late Night with David Letterman show was a revelation."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Jimmy Kimmel Says Jay Leno 'Sold Out'

ABC/RANDY HOLMES(NEW YORK) It's clear that Jimmy Kimmel has much more respect for David Letterman than his other late-night rival, Jay Leno.

The ABC host is the cover boy of the new issue of Rolling Stone.  The New York Daily News, which obtained an advance copy of the issue, reports that Kimmel says of Leno, "As a comedian, you can’t not have disdain for what he’s done: He totally sold out."

Kimmel, who moves his show from midnight to the 11:35 p.m. Eastern time slot next week, adds the NBC Tonight Show host "was a master chef who opened a Burger King."

Kimmel has voiced his negative feelings for Leno a few times in recent years.  In 2010, he impersonated Leno on his program, and he also made an appearance on Leno's now-defunct primetime talk show, chastising him for planning a return to The Tonight Show after Conan O'Brien was forced out.  And last year, at a New York City event, Kimmel said of Leno, "F*** him."

In his Rolling Stone interview, Kimmel is more complimentary of Letterman, his childhood idol. 

He asks, "If I beat David Letterman in the ratings, does that mean I’m better than Letterman?  No f***ing way."

Kimmel also has nice things to say about Leno's NBC late-night colleague, Jimmy Fallon.

He says, “People are going to compare me and him for years to come -- we’re being positioned as the Leno and Letterman of the next round.  I like it because he’s a very worthy competitor.”

The issue of Rolling Stone featuring Kimmel hits newsstands Friday.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Obama to Appear on "The Tonight Show" Wednesday

Kevin Winter/NBCUniversal/Getty Images(BURBANK, Calif.) -- President Obama will visit The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Wednesday night. 

The visit will mark Obama's fifth appearance on The Tonight Show, his third since becoming president.

In a statement, NBC said the president will take to the couch next to Jay Leno to "discuss the home stretch of the campaign."

Obama was a guest on CBS' Late Show With David Letterman last month, and he made an appearance last week on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Tom Hanks, Jay Leno Attend Memorial Service for Michael Clarke Duncan

Kevin Mazur/WireImage via ABC(LOS ANGELES) -- A private memorial service for the late Michael Clarke Duncan was held at Forest Lawn Memorial Parks and Mortuaries in Los Angeles on Monday.

It was attended by celebrities including his Green Mile co-star Tom Hanks, Jay Leno, Holly Robinson Peete and Vivica A. Fox, according to  Duncan's fiancée, Omarosa Manigault, was also at the service.

Duncan's burial was also scheduled for Monday.

Duncan died on Sept. 3 at 54, less than two months after suffering a heart attack.  His death certificate, obtained by TMZ, lists respiratory failure as the cause of death.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Report: Leno Chopped Salary in Half to Tighten Belts at "Tonight Show"

Kevin Winter/Tonight Show/Getty Images for The Tonight Show(NEW YORK) -- Jay Leno agreed to a pretty big hit in some austerity measures aimed at The Tonight Show -- to the tune of half his salary, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

It had widely been reported that The Tonight Show with Jay Leno recently laid off about 20 staffers and Leno himself took a pay cut, but just how deep the scissors cut wasn't known until now. 

The Journal says Leno agreed to a $15 million a year cut in an effort to trim the show's budget and save other jobs.  At the same time, Leno re-upped his contract to stay with the show for another two years.

Leno's new salary will be $15 million a year, the paper notes; his halving his annual paycheck reportedly slashed the show's budget by 20 percent.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


"The Tonight Show" Lays Off Several Staffers, Leno Accepts Pay Cut

Kevin Winter/Tonight Show/Getty Images for The Tonight Show(LOS ANGELES) -- NBC's The Tonight Show has laid off between 20 and 25 of its employees, and host Jay Leno has accepted a pay cut in order to save the jobs of other staffers, according to

A source tells the website, "I don’t think ad sales are off.  I just think the people who bought this company, Comcast, wants to go through everything at NBC and get their money back."

According to The Los Angeles Times, Leno's weekly budget for his late-night program will be slashed from approximately $2.3 million per week -- the same amount spent on his ill-fated NBC primetime talk show a few years ago -- to approximately $1.7 million.  The latter total was the approximate weekly budget for The Tonight Show before Leno handed over his job to Conan O'Brien, who left the network in 2010.

Leno himself reportedly had been making between $25 million and $30 million per year.  The Los Angeles Times reports he'll now make around $20 million. 

The pay cut won't affect Leno too much, because as The Hollywood Reporter's Matthew Belloni explains, Leno has said in the past that "he lives on the money that he makes from his touring and his stand-up shows."

Leno's CBS rival, David Letterman, accepted a pay cut and a budget reduction three years ago.

A rep for The Tonight Show tells multiple media outlets, "Jay's foremost concern is for the wonderful people who work for The Tonight Show.  He did what was necessary to ensure their well-being."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


David Letterman, Conan O'Brien Bash Jay Leno on "Late Show"

Michael Tran/FilmMagic(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."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jay Leno Catches Heat from Indian Official, Catholic Group over Jokes

Kevin Winter/Tonight Show/Getty Images for The Tonight Show(LOS ANGELES) -- Jay Leno has managed to offend two religious groups in the span of one week.

On last Thursday's edition of The Tonight Show, Leno displayed a picture of the Golden Temple, a holy shrine of Sikhs in India, and joked that it was the summer home of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.  Leno was making a reference to Romney's wealth, but, according to reports in India, one official is upset with the late-night host.

Vayalar Ravi, the visiting affairs minister for non-resident Indians, was quoted as saying, “It is quite unfortunate and quite objectionable that such a comment has been made after showing the...Golden Temple."  The official continued, "The Golden Temple is the Sikh community’s most sacred place.  Even our Prime Minister went there for praying in the New Year.  I believe the person who has shown [it] is not that ignorant. The American government should also look at this kind of thing.”

The reports further state that many local Sikhs have expressed outrage.  In addition, the joke has spawned a "Boycott Jay Leno" Facebook group.

According to the BBC, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says the government has not been in contact with India over the matter and that Leno's comments "appeared to be satirical in nature."

A California man named Dr. Randeep Dhillon doesn't see it that way.  According to, Dhillon has filed a libel lawsuit against Leno over the joke, claiming it, "falsely portrays the holiest place in the Sikh religion as a vacation resort owned by a non-Sikh."  He seeks general and punitive damages.

Leno has also irked a Catholic organization with a joke he made on Monday's Tonight Show about a Los Angeles-area bishop who resigned after admitting he fathered two children.

Referring to the bishop's namesake in the game of chess, Leno said, “I thought bishops could only move diagonally.  I didn’t know they could move up and down," and made corresponding hand gestures.  He then said, “Isn’t it amazing the bishop of L.A. confessed to fathering two children?  But, hey, he didn’t use birth control, so at least he followed the church rules.  You gotta give him credit for that.”

The president of the Catholic League, Bill Donohue, claims Leno, "has a long track record of bashing Catholicism."  He further states, "The most serious cases of the sexual abuse of minors currently taking place are among Orthodox Jewish rabbis in Brooklyn, yet Leno would never tell a joke at their expense.  The rate of HIV/AIDS among homosexuals is 50 times higher than in the rest of the population, yet Leno would never tell a joke at their expense.  But if there is one wayward Catholic clergyman, it’s not only acceptable to ridicule him, it’s okay to mock the teachings of the Catholic Church."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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