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Jay Leno Still Talks Like He’s Being Canceled, Not Moved

The new hot late night TV rumors involve The Jay Leno Show being moved back to Leno’s former 11:30 time slot, rather than scrapped entirely. For some reason, however, this didn’t stop Leno from still talking last night like cancellation was still in the cards. Video after the jump.

Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien joked about the muddled NBC situation last night, as Leno had in uncharacteristically brutal fashion the night before. And Friday night Leno was still at it, despite wildly different speculation about his future circulating. He started with a joke about a new endangered species list (“You know what #1 was? Us!”) and got in a jab at old (and new?) rival David Letterman’s past affairs before delivering the line that hit closest to home:

To be fair, NBC is working on a solution they say in which all parties would be screwed equally.

And that’s really what this is about. Leno’s dig is hardly even a joke – it’s exactly what NBC has done. They’ve alienated O’Brien by potentially yanking him from the traditional Tonight Show time slot (and potentially losing him entirely if they do).

And with these new developments, they’ve now alienated Leno twice. Sure, his act might be dramatically watered down compared to when he was the envy of the stand-up comedy world three decades ago, but the fact is that his Tonight Show ratings crushed Letterman’s, NBC nudged him out, and then Letterman started winning the ratings battle again. Everyone has a reason to be upset, and NBC deservedly looks bad. We can only hope O’Brien takes ESPN’s Bill Simmons up on his suggestion for how to get back at the network. They’ve earned it.

Here’s the clip:

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