Leno to Oprah: 'Calling Conan Didn't Seem Appropriate'


With only 24 hours until The Oprah Winfrey Show airs the first interview with Jay Leno since NBC's sloppy Tonight Show mishandling, Harpo Productions has finally released a video preview of the segment. Surprisingly, a laid back Leno admits that calling Conan during the late night bloodbath did not seem like the right thing to do. (But wrestling the 11:35 PM time slot from Conan's hands did?) Click through to see the entire 40 second clip and decide whether Leno is still NBC's Maritime Disaster Hero or the Hitler of Late Night.


  • FrancoisTrueFaux says:

    Leno looks like a schoolboy that picked a fight, then told the teacher when the other kid hit back.

  • David says:

    He's such a conniving, back-stabbing, look out for number 1, sort of guy. I remember the meltdown 187 years ago when he took the Tonight Show from Dave. He lets NBC execs lead him by his teeth and pretends he's just doing what everyone tells him. He has absolutely no backbone and no concern for anyone else's well being but his own.
    At some point in this life when you're worth close to a $billion, you should try to become magnanimous and reach out to help others. He's got his stable of cars and his show and that's all he gives a damned about. Too bad he's so self-centered, but welcome to Hollywood.

  • Nola says:

    Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien are both victims of the inept NBC management. Do not blame Leno for the mess. NBC promised The Tonight Show to O'Brien to keep him in their stable without regard to their top rated late night host. I've met people who know Leno personally and they have said he is the same nice guy he personifies on TV.

  • coppers1 says:

    Leno is a big sissy!!! He isn't even funny!! Except looking[lol]. You know what they say: What Comes Around Goes Around!!!

  • Scott says:

    This whole episode has definitely changed my feeling about Jay Leno. I always felt like he came across as a people person. When he comes out to begin his monologue each night and shakes hands and high-fives his audience, I am always impressed that he is the kind of guy that has not gone so Hollywood that he can't bear the thought of getting near his fans. Has anyone ever seen Letterman do that? Never in a million years. Letterman is a true self-made narcissist. Once he began buying into the idea of himself as so far superior to the rank and file that constitute his fan base, any celebrity's fan base for that matter, his humor became more and more sardonic and mean-spirited and he became more and more aloof. His narcissism became all the more apparent when his sex scandal broke last year. Like any smart and wiley narcissist, he knew enough to behave self-deprecatingly, but behind it all was some very clever manuevering designed to keep himself on the air and raking in the dough. Enough about that sleazy guy. My comments are meant to be about Jay and Conan.
    So here we are again with a yet another debacle over the late night clash of time slots, comedians and their personalities. For the record, I am in the Conan camp and will remain faithfully there because I believe he is the most talented of all of these guys. I also believe he was given a horrendously ill-advised kick in the pants by NBC CEO Jeff Zucker, who himself, tried pathetically to reduce this sad affair to Conan's unwillingness to simply move his show thirty minutes. What a sorry excuse for a network executive. A 14 year junior high school kid would've made a smarter decision about who to keep and who to let go.
    At this point, I am swearing off NBC. I will stop watching the Today Show, The Office, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, and any version on any night of Law and Order. And for what it's worth, it doesn't matter to me what time the Tonight Show comes on or who its host is; I don't plan on ever turning it on again.
    Happy now, Zucker?

  • Tom says:

    Stop picking on Leno he is obviously #1 for a reason & that is how he has survived year after year. Cut out the feeling sorry for the other guy crap. If Conan survives this experience he'll come up with another show somewhere, sometime. He will never be #1 anywhere, nor even against Leno & that is the whole point. Meantime, in the short haul, Conan made more money than he has ever made in his young life. Long ago Johnny Carson's people saw #1 in Leno & that is why he is still here at a relatively young age & still beats the competition in his time slot. Leno's time will come someday but for the moment he's "the winner".
    I'm just amazed that all these anonymous people, writing these comments, consider themselves experts on winning anything. The magic of being #1, even for a short time belongs to very few, the rest of us
    have to get up early tomorrow & go back to work for somebody else. Ah, & don't forget to make your car payments & try not to lose your house!

  • Joe says:

    I believed and commend Conan when he said he was not going to be part of the destruction of an American institution. And, there WAS not a show that was more of an institution than The Tonight Show. Remember it was always "The Tonight Show". Throughout the years it was "with Steve Allen, and with Jack Paar, and with Johnny Carson". All thses guys had class and personality to spare but, they never forgot who the real star was. The format and substance of THE Tonight Show. And, Conan will always be among this class of guys. I could never imagine Johnny or Jack do what jay did. Oh you can call it The Tonight Show with jay leno but, it's something else...a poor substitute...Zucker and leno can do whatever they want with that timeslot. It will never, ever be The Tonight Show again. It IS dead forever. I have to believe that come September 1st there will be a dawning of a new era in late-night entertainment. The class will be back! Say what you want about the goofiness of Conan's acts...a CLASS act all the way!