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Leno, who has been at the center of reports that NBC is contemplating ending his The Tonight Show tenure in 2014, has been making jokes about the network in his opening monologues this week.
On Friday, Leno began his NBC digs by recounting a news report about Canadian doctors pulling a three-inch blade out of a man’s back. The knife apparently had been lodged there for three years.
“Imagine that. The guy had a knife in his back for three years. He must have worked at NBC too,” Leno said.
On Thursday, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Leno was being taken to dinner by NBC Entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt to discuss the comedian’s future at Tonight. The dinner came in the wake of THR reporting that NBC plans to install Late Night‘s Jimmy Fallon as Tonight host in 2014 and is building a new stage for him in New York.
“Have you heard about this alleged feud that I’m having with NBC? I think it’s going to be OK,” Leno said Friday. “This is real. I had dinner last night with a bunch of executives. To make it up me, what they did, they are sending my wife and I on an all-expenses-paid Carnival cruise.”
Leno added: “So it looks like it’s going to be OK. Fantastic!”
Carnival famously had a cruise go awry last month.
As THR previously reported, sources indicate NBC is debating the timing of a Fallon-Leno transition. Leno’s contract expires in September 2014, but some top executives would like to see Fallon take over as Tonight host in February of that year to capitalize on the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, as a promotional platform.
The New York Times reported last week that Greenblatt emailed Leno to express his displeasure with the host after a Feb. 28 episode in which he joked about network’s falling to fifth place during sweeps month.
Watch the video of Leno’s monologue.
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