Jay Leno sat down with Joy Behar yesterday, where the denim-clad working man’s comedian with hundreds of millions of dollars claimed that both he and Conan O’Brien “got screwed.” There’s video of the exchange here, but these quotes are the highlights:
“Conan got screwed, and I got screwed,” Leno said. “It worked out OK. I don’t quite get why I get beat up over it. I know people don’t really understand sort of how this business works. It’s all numbers. You know, the affiliates wanted us back, so we came back.”
Damn those mean ol’ affiliates! Why, Jay would never do anything to egg those affiliates on by saying publicly that he wanted “The Tonight Show” back as early as last November.
“I think Conan will come back, and he’ll be strong and, you know, we’ll all compete against one another. It should be me against [David] Letterman, against Conan, against [Jimmy] Kimmel, and then you see who wins,” he said.
And that’s Leno for you. Not “…then you see who makes people laugh.” Not “…then you see who’s funniest.” Who wins. There isn’t a stand-up comic on the planet who cares less about being funny than Jay Leno. And it shows.