How David Letterman Pulled Off A Secret Super Bowl Ad With Oprah Winfrey And Jay Leno


Yes, that was David Letterman, Oprah Winfrey and Jay Leno sandwiched together on a couch in that Super Bowl commercial. The spot was one of the most surprising commercials during last night’s big game.

Dave and Jay are rival late night hosts, and Dave has jabbed at NBC about the Conan O’Brien debacle. Jay had recently appeared on Oprah’s show to discuss the whole mess, but the media queen isn’t easy to nail down.

According to the New York Times, Dave had the idea to bring Jay onto his own turf. The shoot involved secret plane trips, a mustache disguise, approval from NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker and a little mischief from Dave himself. 

Mr. Letterman had the idea to invite Mr. Leno to participate, playing off a similar ad he put together with Ms. Winfrey the last time CBS had the Super Bowl in 2007. “Dave wrote the bit himself,” Mr. Burnett said. “He just thought: it’s the Super Bowl, you’re supposed to entertain people.”

Steps were taken to contact Ms. Winfrey, who agreed immediately, Mr. Burnett said, and then Mr. Leno. Mr. Burnett said he spoke with Mr. Leno’s executive producer, Debbie Vickers. “She asked if this was for real and then she laughed for about 10 minutes,” Mr. Burnett said.

Read more at the Media Decoder blog.

We doubt Jay and Dave are best buddies now. But they did pass a peace pipe in the form of a bowl of chips. 

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