Jay Leno calls David Letterman his “old friend”

After a commercial for The Late Show aired on Super Bowl Sunday, many were surprised. The commercial featured Letterman, of course, and Oprah (which is kind of cool that they’re now friends) and shockingly, Jay Leno. Leno has spent the past month or so taking a much-needed beating in the press, so it’s perfectly possible Leno was just trying to change the subject or simply do something weird. But still, very surprising.

Anyway, both Leno and Letterman spoke about the odd meeting on their shows last night. Letterman kept it jokey, telling his audience that the commercial confused his mom: “My mom called and said, ‘David, who was the guy with Oprah and Jay?’” Letterman also joked: “People thought it was really hot stuff. So I’d like to thank the actors who played Oprah and Jay Leno.” Meanwhile, Leno got a bit emotional talking about the meeting:

Whatever hard feelings exist between Jay Leno and David Letterman melted away last Tuesday when the two old friends — plus Oprah Winfrey — gathered in New York to shoot a much buzzed-about Super Bowl commercial. Both comedians talked about the ad on their respective shows Monday night, but it was Leno who spoke on a personal level about the meeting.

At his desk, Leno described walking into Letterman’s office at the Ed Sullivan Theater: “I see Dave and he puts his hand out and we shake hands … and you know, whatever happened in the last 18 years disappeared. It was great to see my old friend again.”

[From PopEater]

Well… that’s nice, I guess. I don’t know what game Leno is playing, honestly. Is he a guy who would rather bury the hatchet with David, or is he the cutthroat who would screw over anyone to get ahead? Is Leno the self-pitying hypocrite that we saw during the Conan O’Brien debacle, or was he just a guy who got stuck in a bad position by a corporation, and just fell on his sword? I can’t tell. Honestly.

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19 Responses to “Jay Leno calls David Letterman his “old friend””

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  1. Jazz says:

    Leno is still a grade A toooool.

    I’m still with Coco.

  2. emma says:

    didn’t dave and oprah do the commercial last year? i remember he wanted jay to do it too, but jay didn’t want to. i guess with all the bad press this year, jay did it to do some damage repair.

    i still think jay is a cutthroat who does anything to get ahead.

  3. LolaBella says:

    The commercial was stupid and I’m not buying this humble, Aw Shucks ‘Mr.Nice Guy’ act Jay is trying to sell.

    Long live Conando.

  4. Sumodo1 says:

    Long Live Conando!

  5. RobN says:

    If half the people who claimed to love “Coco” actually watched his show, he wouldn’t have been cancelled. Jay never should have lost his #1 rated show to begin with, so I can’t believe so many people think he shouldn’t get it back. Sorry, but while Leno signs autographs by the hundreds after his show, Letterman gets into his bittermobile and drives on home to a bad marriage. Nobody cared what “Coco” did until it became hip to be Team Coco and now all of a sudden eveybody’s on his side? Not buying it.

  6. Sumodo1 says:

    RobN: Play nice. I am a huge consistant Conan fan. Many people are.

  7. emma says:

    same could be said about leno’s show. if people were watching leno’s show, then his show wouldn’t have gotten cancel as well, but wait he wanted back at 11:30 show – he said so long before the whole drama started. and leno’s #1 position was slipping when he had the tonight show.

    always been a conan fan ever since i was in high school (i’m in med school now), so yeah i certainly cared for coco long before “it became hip.”

    conan paid his staff when the writers were on strike. he fought so that his crew would get more money when the show ended and he gave money to his that didn’t get the nbc severance package. so yeah, long live conando!

  8. Huma says:

    RobN – Jay never should have “lost” his show?

    Um, he retired. RETIRED. He left voluntarily and he got his OWN show. If it sucked, that wasn’t Conan’s fault. Leno should have fallen on the sword, let them cancel his suckfest, and bowed out to go drive his McLarens.

    It’s not Conan’s fault that Leno sucks when he’s in primetime.

    Also, I don’t buy Leno’s Nice Guy act. It’ll be interesting to see what his ratings will be like when he takes back ‘his’ show, as RobN still thinks of it as, and the ‘hip’ portion of the public that is Team Coco doesn’t tune in.

    I can’t wait for the Nielson numbers on that one. :-D

  9. juiceinla says:

    I gotta say, I loved the Letterman/Oprah commercial, probably because every other commercial sucked so much,I was dying for anything funny.

    But I kind of got pissed at Dave for assisting Leno in damage control- Dave should not be doing anything to make Leno’s life easier.

    My views on Leno and his legendary deucebaggery are posted everywhere, so I will refrain from repeating them- but I gotta ask:

    WHY DAVE WHY????

  10. RobN says:

    @Huma. He didn’t ‘retire’. He was told by NBC officials that he was going to be moved out to make room for Conan five years ago. He was number one at that time; he was number one when his version of the Tonight Show ended, he beat Letterman for a decade,and there’s not a lot of reason to believe that he won’t be number one again. A lot of people like Conan which is great, but not so many watched as would have you believe. Lots of people jumping on the bandwagon who never watched any of them. I’m just sick of people taking it all so personally when they didn’t really give two shakes until it became popular to do so.

  11. Tia C says:

    @ RobN: FINALLY! Someone who knows what they are talking about. Jay did NOT voluntarily retire (Huma) he was pushed out. This was going on for years. Do your research. RobN is absolutely right that if all these people claiming to love Conan so much were actually watching his show, it wouldn’t have gotten canceled!! Big ol’ fat DUH!

    Having said that, even though I’m not a fan per se, I do feel bad for what happened to Conan. He got f*cked, plain and simple. I hope he finds a network that he can call home and all his (alleged) millions of fans can watch him happily again soon.

    I missed the commercial, I’ll have to watch it at home minus the firewall at work…lol

  12. lucy2 says:

    Sorry Leno, anything you do for a while I’m going to consider damage control.
    I watched Conan since college. Way back before the Year 2000 ;D

    If he ends up doing another show, I hope he goes back to NY. My favorite bits were anytime he went out to do stuff around the city.

  13. Tom says:

    Huma — you are WRONG and spewing b.s. like alot of the Conan fans. Jay did NOT retire voluntarily, he was pushed out 5 years ago when Conan went to NBC and said he had to have The Tonight Show in 2009 or he was gonna walk. Get the facts straight if you’re going to spew.

  14. emma says:

    so jay was pushed out, just like how he pushed carson out. if he didn’t want to retire, he could have walked to another network, no? and yes, he was number 1, but when he handed the show off to conan, letterman was closing in on the gap. also, the tonight show beat letterman by the biggest margins when conan was hosting, not when leno was. don’t forget when leno first took over the tonight show, he wasn’t doing so great either. yes, he eventually became number one and held it, but where was his fans when he moved to 10? why didn’t they follow him?

  15. gee_gee says:

    Jay? Sweetie? Dave is not your friend. He will do what he has to do to promote his show, even pretend to be civil to you. Tomorrow, he will go back to being your mortal frenemy. He is a seventh grade girl that way. And that is why I love him.

  16. Trillion says:

    If Leno was #1 then I guess there are a lot of fuddy duddy types that watch him. Or maybe it was just the time slot placement advantage. He’s just subpar. But I like my comedy weird and daring. (Galifiniakis, Paul F. Tomkins, Amy Sedaris, David Cross et al). So naturally I think Leno sucks. The Superbowl ad seemed awkward and totally unconvincing.

  17. Allie says:

    I loved the commercial, it was very unexpected and made me laugh. I think Oprah and Jay were good sports to do this.

  18. blinditemreader says:

    Nice try at damage control Jay. We know your game.

  19. Dani says:

    When Jay announced he was leaving the show back in 2005 or so, he said on air that HE himself decided to retire, and he’s repeated that publicly [and according to some sources, even privately] right after that. Now he’s changed his story and said he’s been forced out. He just keeps changing the story to fit his agenda each time and make him look like the good guy, so I honestly don’t know what to believe. Leno is a liar, and I don’t just mean on this issue. Personally I think he made the choice himself, but if he was forced out, good. He did it to Carson, what goes around comes around.

    And if he was pushed out, that means he was cancelled twice. He doesn’t deserve a third chance, he’s obviously not very good at getting ratings anymore.

    This is all coming from someone who USED to love Leno. I thought he was down to earth, kind, and truthful. But after all this, all I see is a hypocritical, selfish ass and I can’t even stand to look at him anymore, which saddens me. I honestly used to like him, not anymore.

    Hope he gets cancelled for a third time.