Leno Explains the Origin of His Feud with Jimmy Kimmel


Following his unexpected return to NBC’s Tonight Show last night, Jay Leno stopped by NBC’s Today Show Wednesday morning to talk about that experience and what it’s like to be back on TV with his new CNBC show, Jay Leno’s Garage. Synergy!

The hosts asked Leno what late night hosts he watches now that he’s no longer hosting one and he mentioned NBC’s Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers along with CBS’ Stephen Colbert, but notably left out ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel.

Asked about his history of animosity with Kimmel, Leno said, “He comes from radio… where you find some 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.”

Watch video below, via NBC:

Earlier this year, Leno contrasted Stephen Colbert’s “nice guy” attitude with that of Kimmel, who he said has a “mean streak” that explains why he’s not higher in the ratings.

Back in 2010 when Leno was poised to steal the Tonight Show back from Conan O’Brien, 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.

And, of course, Kimmel’s not the only late night host against which Leno still holds a grudge. This week, he also revealed 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.

[Photo via screengrab]

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