Movieline Counterpoint: Jay Leno Issues Own Open Letter About ConanGate!


Sensing that he's losing the late-night PR war -- somehow, disingenuously joking about being "fired" by NBC when he stood to possibly regain both his old time-slot and Tonight Show desk hasn't won many converts to his side -- Jay Leno today responded to Conan O'Brien's withering, fist-pumpingly received open letter to the People of Earth, hoping to persuade O'Brien partisans to cast aside their ginger-tinged bouffants of support in favor of a Team Leno chin-prosthetic. For reasons we can't fully comprehend (did he sense a slight crack in our resolve?), Leno issued his statement exclusively!* to Movieline, which you can read in full after the jump:

*Please put on your 3-D glasses now and enjoy another fully immersive Movieline Fakery Experience™.

People of Earth (Especially Those Between The Ages Of 35-65),

In the last few days, my phone hasn't been ringing nearly as often as I'd hoped it might with sympathy calls, so I wanted to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me, even though they're yanking me out of my cherished 10 pm time-slot and putting me back in late-night, completely against my will. For 17 years, I've been getting paid to do what I love fourth-most, after doing Vegas shows, trying out new material in Hermosa Beach and rebuilding the engines of vintage Fiats with parts I fabricate in my awesome 3-D printer. And in a world with real problems, I've been absurdly lucky to Jaywalk through so many high-rated, first-place (did I mention I beat Letterman for a decade and a half yet? Oh, I didn't?) years. That said, I've been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses demanded an immediate decision, which I made on the spot, because hey, I've always been nothing but a team player.

Pages: 1 2 3


  • Leno is a Bully says:

    Jay Leno cares about... Jay Leno. Also money & prestige. He stole the Tonight Show from David Letterman and now he wants to steal it from Conan O'Brien. "Team player"? Yeah right. If Fox offered him $30 million, he'd be gone. Leno is little more than a suck-up and a bully. He wants everything HIS way and will do anything to get it.

  • emberglance says:


  • an intelligent observer says:

    If you would have read the ENTIRE article you would have noticed the part about "Movieline Fakery Experience™". This is not real, not written by Jay Leno.

  • Snarf says:

    Brilliant parody.

  • okie says:

    Yeah the written by is a big clue..
    Movieline Counterpoint: Jay Leno Issues Own Open Letter About ConanGate!
    Written by Mark Lisanti

  • Joe says:

    Boycott Jay Leno when he moves back to 11:30. But since no one watched him at 10, maybe no one will care!

  • academy screamer says:

    That Jay Leno is the bees' knees! I laughed so hard my colostomy bag burst.

  • fan says:

    Finally! The Defamer we heart is back in full effect... we've missed you, Mr. L! xoxo

  • Trixie from Toronto says:


  • Noel Murphy says:

    Well, I just spent a day a Jay Leno's garage and he spent an hour in front of my camera for my upcoming documentary "The Last Dymaxion".
    He did it for free to help me out. NBC also donated his services as long as the union medical fund was paid.
    I knew without reading the byline Jay didn't write that letter. Cute Journalism.
    Jay isn't perfect but he has more integrity than most peopole i've met.
    More than to risk confusing the reader by penning a letter as someone else.
    Jay would have to have lost both his sense of humor and his self- control to write it- he has done neither. I've known jay since 1991 and he has forced me to become a better person by simply watching him in action.
    There isn't one of you he wouldn't help. Letterman however would sell you with a "what me worry" shrug. Conan would be too busy making sure he was funny enough. Leno makes his commitments more important.
    That is why he really is letting the network handle it. He bears no malice against any one let alone Conan.
    Why we Americans love a blood match the way we do is beyond me.
    Conclusion: This is about NBC and it's relationship to it's affiliates. Conan might concider that Tonight show is his to create at
    midnight or when ever he say's "Its the Tonight show because I say so" If Conan says no after Jay has agreed to let NBC cut the Jay leno show in half he's not doing his part. He's the one not being a team player and using Johnny Carson's memory to do it...

  • Denise says:

    I don't buy the whole "team player" defense Leno mentions. If NBC had any sense, they'd demand that Leno's solution to their problems, would not hurt or penalize another show or celebrity on their own network!
    Even so, apparently, that's not a priority, so Leno should have stood up for what is fair and decent, by not going along with just anything that was sent his way - obviously, money means more than integrity, professional courtesy or even decency, to some people! Leno will never be funny to me again, because this is all just too unfair.
    Leno could have done the right thing and trust me, the execs would have been able to come up with a better solution, than how it stands now!
    I wish Conan the best in whatever his future holds - Leno, good luck to you too - you're going to need it more than you realize, but if all is not well, I'd say you'll just be getting what you really deserve - a headache, fewer fans, & bottom line - money! Apparently, respect, dignity and maturity do not rate in your book!

  • ahdam says:

    I am a tourist, saw the article when I was about to log into my email account. Thought why they smart-mouth-wash each other so much. But these guys are just doing their job. To bad that the leaving crew did not take their 6 months more seriously and gave it the best they got, we all have to seize the day for crying out loud.. don’t just be in the light thinking “look at me I’m doing good” but all your mind should go to “what else can I do for you” and now the lawyer got him some money because we do things for money in this world and not for just pleasure like some wanker looking at free movies of naked bodies humping each other 🙂

  • James Pappaconstantine says:

    Put best by a friend of mine: Jay should man up and fall on his sword

  • Key says:

    Yeah, I thought something this funny couldn't have been written by Jay Leno.

  • Rigo says:

    Cut the guys a break. Conan and Jay are both $$$ and both said it's BUSINESS.
    Jay is known as Mr. Nice Guy for a reason.