Simon Cowell Makes Jab at ‘American Idol’ Replacement Steven Tyler (Video)

On the "Tonight Show," he also jokes about the show's performance since he left.

NEW YORK - X-Factor creator and former American Idol star Simon Cowell said on the Tonight Show Wednesday night that he feels Idol is doing about as well now as during his run. And he used a story about his mother to joke about new judge Steven Tyler.

Asked by Jay Leno if Cowell is bothered that Idol is still doing well, he responded: “I’m thrilled. You always want to leave a show, and it does better, right?”

After laughs from the audience, Leno asked if it is indeed doing better. Said Cowell: “No, I think it’s about the same. I’m like that with my friends: do well, just don’t do that well.”

Idol's ratings are down about 7 percent this year in the 18-49 demo.

Cowell also told Leno: “I haven’t watched the whole show. But my mom, who is 86, I think she forgot that I wasn’t on the show this year.” He explained that she called him from England and said she didn’t see him on the show, to which he replied he had left Idol.

According to Cowell, his mother then had this to say about the show’s judges: “Tell Jennifer, the new girl, I like her. Give my love to Randy. And, true story, tell Paula [Abdul] she looks a bit tired.”