In 2010, Jay Leno and the NBC brass behind him ousted Conan O’Brien from the network in what would become known as “The ‘Tonight Show’ Conflict.”
After the incident made Leno look like a bully, his fellow comedians and late night colleagues didn’t all react kindly.
The same is now happening in what appears to be a repeat situation — but this time it’s Leno in the hot seat, with pressure to keep up with his younger competition like Jimmy Kimmel.
With NBC rumoured to be giving 62-year-old Leno’s coveted late night time slot to 38-year-old Jimmy Fallon, many are saying Leno is just getting what he had coming.
- 'The odds are we will both leave this Earth without speaking to each other, which is fine,' O'Brien told The Hollywood Reporter after the 2010 'Tonight Show' controversy. 'There's really nothing to say. We both know the deal. He knows; I know. I'd rather just forget ... It helps that almost everybody involved in the craziness has been relieved of their jobs.'
- 'He and I are different, so we didn't have a lot to talk about in common,' O'Brien said during an appearance on Letterman. 'I didn't own many automobiles that were made before 1904, primarily of brass and leather… There are very few ways in which he and I relate. We're not interested in the same things. He was my lead-in. He was the host of 'The Tonight Show.' I was the host of 'The Late Night Show.''
- 'I've know Jay a long, long time,' Letterman said on his own late night show. 'We go back to the mid-'70s… Jay was always 'the guy.' He was the funniest guy. He was the guy you'd go to see. He was the guy you wish you could be more like. He was funny. He was also a bit of a brat. When this came along I said: 'Oh, yes, this is the Jay I know.''
- During the '2010 Tonight Show Conflict,' 'Late Late Show' host Craig Ferguson started referring to failed punchlines as a 'Leno jokes' and would impersonate the 'Tonight Show' host.
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