Leno Escalates War of Words With NBC 'Snakes' -- Are Latest Salvos Part of His 'Tonight Show' Endgame? THR

Jay Leno isn’t backing down after angering NBC entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt by joking on "The Tonight Show" about the network’s ratings struggles.

The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed reports that Leno kept up the assault during Monday’s monologue. Leno aimed a joke at the network’s executives, saying, "You know the whole legend of St. Patrick, right? St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland -- and then they came to the United States and became NBC executives. It's a fascinating story."

As previously reported, Leno is in the doghouse with Greenblatt after the comedian made jokes about NBC's ratings slide and its fifth-place finish in the February sweeps. Greenblatt sent an email to Leno complaining about the jokes, which led to a pointed exchange between the two.

THR is reporting that two high-level industry sources have said NBC has been considering making an announcement in May about an exit plan for Leno as host of “Tonight.” Leno is widely expected to be replaced by Jimmy Fallon, with the latest report forecasting the transition for 2014.