Jimmy Kimmel Blasts Jay Leno as Late-Night Wars Escalate

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Forget Team Conan vs. Team Jay. American has already voiced its support of the former in this contest. Plus, there's a new late-night feud brewing.

It's on to Team Jimmy vs. Team Jay, following a week that saw Leno refer to Kimmel's appearance on his own show as a "sucker punch" and Kimmel reply by calling out Jay for no longer being a comedian. Ding, ding indeed!

It all started a couple weeks ago, as Kimmel was invited on Leno's "10@10" segment. Naturally, the ABC host thought his counterpart would want to discuss the shenanigans going on at NBC, especially after Kimmel had spent the previous night impersonating Leno for the duration of his program.

But that's now what Leno had in mind. Therefore, Jimmy took it upon himself to land a few shots at the expense of his rival... who proceeded to go on Oprah yesterday and actually blame Kimmel for the awkward interview.

How did Kimmel respond during last night's monologue? Hilariously, accurately and pointedly:

"The mistake I made was thinking Jay would have anything other to say than what was written on the cue cards. I figured he'd get into it and mix it up. You know, at one time he was a comedian. But he just stood there, kind-of reading through the questions like a robot and then goes off and rats me out to Oprah."

Watch the great rant below and then respond: Are you on Team Jimmy or (somehow) Team Jay?

[video url="http://www.tvfanatic.com/videos/jimmy-vs-jay/" title="Jimmy vs. Jay"] [/video]

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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I initially took Conan's side, but now I'm Switzerland, just neutral. Jay made some good points and Conan had a right to be angry by what NBC did. Could Jay have retired? Taken the high road? Walked away and let Conan keep his job, of course. But when someone's giving you a second chance, you're most likely going to take it. This is show business, and while Jay could have been the so called "good guy," he chose, instead, to take that second chance...turning him into the bad guy. And Conan, the guy has seriously been so humble about everything. He's a great comedian who will go on to be even more successful than he is now. He was gracious and thanked NBC for giving him a chance to begin with. This is definitely not the last of Conan and I can't wait to see where he ends up. :)

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Judy: Conan's ratings were not the problem. It was the Jay Leno Show's ratings that plummeted so disastrously, causing the network affiliates to demand emergency action from NBC. The emergency action was to move Conan, even though the affiliates were not complaining about Conan himself. Additionally, Jay Leno got creamed in the ratings by Letterman for the first three years he had "The Tonight Show." For him to rag on Conan for not pulling up the ratings in 1/3 of the time Leno got is total hypocrisy. Leno is either lying or suffering from early onset Alzheimer's.

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I like Conan O'brien But no one felt sorry for Jay when NBC fired Jay (First place in the ratings) and replaced him with Conan. Jay pretended he was retiring and even had Conan on his LAST show. You could see that Jay was sad to leave. He welcomed Conan. But let's remember that Conan didn't deliver @ 11:35. I think that his comic talents are better fitted for later. So now, NBC wanted to replace Conan with someone why SHOULDN'T Jay take his show back. It is where he belongs.Someone was going to get it. They wouldn't have kept Conan there anyway for long. Who cries for a 35 million dollar send off ? People need to get over it.

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"The Late Shift" made it pretty clear that Johnny Carson himself thought Leno was an opportunistic liar. This was after Leno's manager humiliated Carson by getting a newspaper to announce Carson's retirement before Carson was ready. Leno completely deserves the beatdown he's getting from his fellow comedians. He sowed the wind, and is reaping the whirlwind.

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But what about the main issue here: How UNfunny Leno is! Does he have a single witty bit ever? As Kimmel so rightly pointed out here, what did he possibly do wrong?
He appeared on Leno's show and Leno acted like a professional interviewer, not a professional comedian. Has Jay ever told a joke that wasn't scripted for him on a cue card?

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I agree with you to about Jay's action. It wasn't his fault; it was the NBC execs who screwed it up for the audience and fans. In any workplace, if you don't perform to the expectation, then your job is on the line; however, to fire someone of the 'top job' and gave it to someone else to improve the job but then fired that second guy and gave it back to the first is a REALLY f#@K UP with the experience of the execs. Those execs should be the one fired and publicly humiliated like they did to Jay and Conan.
Conan was very professional in that he didn't bitch out at NBC, but instead thanked them for the time he was with him. That show how Conan acted like a man and professionalism.

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Just like most things, people forget to put theirselves in Jay's shoes. He is the one who has been damaged, and has acted more "grown up" than any of them....it does reflect the younger society that wants everything their parents have without all that comes with it.....I hope that Jay will slip back into his "first" place slot...as for Letterman, "a man who lives in a glass house, shouldn't throw stones". Jimmy Kimmel, shame on you..........Conan can be forgiven because his firing was more public than Jay's five years ago., Conan should have handled it the same way Jay did....like a man...