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In the late night wars, there is Jay Leno on one side, and everybody else on the other.
Leno has twice been named the host of the Tonight Show: in 1992, when he won the job over Johnny Carson‘s heir apparent, David Letterman; and in 2010, when he negotiated to get the show back after briefly handing it off to Conan O’Brien. Neither late night host has many good things to say about him — Letterman as made a two-decade sport out of ripping Leno — but perhaps no one is as openly hostile to him as ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel.
Q&A: Jimmy Kimmel on His Big Move to 11:30, Hiring Plans and ‘Tonight’ Show Cuts
In a new interview with Larry King, Kimmel details the origins of that animus.
“For me, it started with Letterman, and it started with a guy, at least from my standpoint, became famous on the Letterman Show,” he said. “I always felt weird about how Jay got that 11:30 spot. Of course, that was NBC’s decision, but the whole thing seemed pre-meditated to me.”
It should come as no surprise that Kimmel resented Leno for that situation; Letterman was his childhood hero.
Back in August, Kimmel openly said of Leno “F— him!” to an audience in New York, and in 2010, donned a prosthetic chin and makeup to impersonate — in a less than kind manner — the Tonight Show host.
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