Jay Leno has been wagging his formidable chin this week, and one subject that keeps coming up is his famous feud with former late-night rival Jimmy Kimmel. E! Online reports that Leno laid out some of the particulars of the ongoing beef during a number of media encounters.
According to Jay, it’s Kimmel who has the problem with Leno, not the other way around.
The story notes that Leno said during an appearance Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” show that Kimmel “comes from radio … where you find an enemy and then you make up a phony battle. I never had any problems with the guy, but he chose to go after me. And that’s fine, welcome to show business.”
But that doesn’t mean Jay is at a loss for something negative to say about Kimmel. In an interview with TV Insider back in August the subject came up of Kimmel’s low ratings. Jay attributed it to Kimmel’s shortage of what Leno believes is one of the most important ingredients in a late-night host: kindness.
Leno told TV Insider: “The show makes you arrogant. I think that’s Jimmy Kimmel’s problem. I think he’s a talented guy, I think he’s funny. But he has a mean streak, and it comes across. He does this thing where he takes Halloween candy from kids and the kids cry. What am I missing here? It is funny I guess, but it’s mean-based. I think that’s why he’s not higher in the ratings.”
Mediaite notes that Leno and Kimmel had a pivotal encounter back in 2010, when, as the report puts it, “Leno was poised to steal the ‘Tonight Show’ back from Conan O’Brien.”
Mediaite reports: “Kimmel famously did his entire monologue as Leno, making joke after joke at the host’s expense. Then, during an appearance on Leno’s short-lived primetime show, Kimmel relentlessly went after him for his treatment of O’Brien.”
Mediaite also notes that Leno mentioned his even more famous feud with Letterman this week, reiterating that “he only refused to appear on one of David Letterman’s final shows because Letterman declined an invite to do a bit on his last ‘Tonight Show.'”