Late night is more accurately categorized as a mutual admiration society than a battlezone now, but the memory remains and because of that, Jay Leno and David Letterman will always be linked. Before they fought for Johnny Carson’s throne and The Tonight Show in the early 90s and indirectly tussled when Letterman came out in support of Conan O’Brien during the second great battle for that job, Leno and Letterman were actually friends who had great chemistry when they shared the stage on Letterman’s old NBC Late Night show.
Because of that long history and the propensity for old men to think about their legacies as they head toward retirement, it seemed like a matter of time before Leno came on Letterman’s show to throw dirt on the greatest rivalry in television history, but unfortunately, that hasn’t happened yet, and time is running out. According to a new report from TV Insider, though, apparently such an on-camera reunion has been in the works for a year.
Time is running out for Jay Leno to reunite with David Letterman in late night – and right now the ball is in Leno’s court. According to sources inside Late Show with David Letterman, the program has reached out to Leno about coming on as a guest before Letterman departs CBS on May 20.
We asked Leno last week in Miami at the National Association of Television Program Executives conference if he was mulling the offer. “I haven’t heard that,” he said. “I’ll have to check into that.”
Indeed, the request was first made a year ago, back when Leno was wrapping up his Tonight Show run. It’s unclear whether the ask ever reached Leno himself. More likely, the invite was discussed between Leno’s and Letterman’s producers.
So, what’s the hold-up? Leno has hit the road hard with a return to stand-up comedy and he’s made successful appearances on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show and on the last episode of Craig Ferguson’s The Late Late Show since he retired last year, so he hasn’t retreated to the quiet after stepping away from late night. Is it just a timing thing or is Leno not eager to give his former rival and friend an iconic television moment as he nears the end of his run after Leno’s somewhat unceremonious exit? Time will tell, but at least it seems as though the offer has been made. Now we just have to wait for Conan to extend an offer to Leno and for hell to freeze over and then everyone can at long last sing kumbaya and play Pictionary with Jimmy Fallon.
Source: TV Insider