Jay Leno talks about the David Letterman - Oprah ad: 'I want to thank Dave. I was glad to promote his show'

Tonight, Jay Leno couldn’t wait to talk about the commercial he made for The Late Show with David Letterman on his next-to-last Jay Leno Show on NBC.

“I’ll tell you the whole story right after ‘Headlines’!” he yelled as he went to his first commercial break.

In his opening monologue, Leno joked about the commercial he taped with Letterman and Oprah Winfrey. “Letterman and I hadn’t seen each other in 18 years. We’d lost touch. He found me on Facebook. He made a friend request, I accepted… Things are going so well between us, we’re going to go to the Vancouver Olympics  and compete in the two-man luge.”

Later, while seated, Leno told his version of the story.

“It was Dave’s idea,” said Leno. “And when he told me — no matter what animosity there is, among comedians, a good joke is a good joke. It makes all [the hostility] go away.”

Leno told the story, now familiar from the reporting of my colleague Lynette Rice, of the comedian arriving at Letterman’s Ed Sullivan Theater in disguise. “I see Dave, we shake hands, and… it was great to see my old friend again. We talked about the old days; it was really good to see him.”

Then Leno told a joke on his bosses. “The next day an NBC executive calls and says, ‘Jay, we have a problem. We think Dave shot some kind of secret show.'”

To make a long joke short, Leno said that NBC thought the disguised figure was “President Obama… ‘President Obama did a commercial for Dave!'”

Chuckling, Leno concluded, “I wanna thank Dave. I was glad to promote his show.”

What do you think of Leno’s version of the story?

For more: David Letterman jokes about Super Bowl ad with Jay Leno, Sandra Bullock jokes about Dave and women

Late Show producer on Leno-Letterman-Oprah Super Bowl spot: Jay wore disguise to taping

Watch Letterman and Leno declare a grumpy truce during the Super Bowl

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Comments (88 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2 3
  • Molly

    Full. Of. It.

    • Tom Brazelton

      I thought the commercial was funny. But I sincerely doubt 45 minutes to shoot a commercial made 18 years or animosity “all go away,” as Leno claims.

      • Momo

        Eh…not too sure whether Leno is sincere or not, but you’d be surprised at how easy it is to buy a grudge – even an 18 year long grudge. There’s just something about meeting someone face to face and actually communicating. Well, my experience at least.

      • Momo

        oops buy=bury

      • cutesinglesinthecity

        Dave is happy because he’s back on top and Jay just got cancelled at 10. So Jay is a loser now hoping that he can beat dave at 11:30

    • Kristyn

      Yep. It’s all about damage control.

      • whatever

        My boyfriend and I broke up a month ago. yeah.. i’m young ,beautiful,lonely and still
        hurting, because we both think that Leno is full of it

      • PHD


      • OMG

        No, my boyfriend and I really did break up.. this web site is amazing! You meet these old guys and they say creepy things to you… it’s awesome. @@@@@@@ Sorry I don’t know why I keep doing that… But I agree Leno is full of it, for sure….

    • heather

      Oh you’re full of it. It was funny.

      • cutesinglesinthecity

        He is still the best

    • Amy

      I just LOVE when Jay chuckles at his own jokes. NOT. Putz.

    • Buddy

      Wow, that luge joke was lame. But it was typical Leno. He’s trying so hard to sidle up to the cool kid so that people will stop harassing him for being a weasel.

  • Meli

    I still think it would’ve been funnier had Craig Ferguson been standing behind the couch saying to Dave he’d take his spot when he got up.

    • Kitty

      Craig Ferguson is not funny at all. What do people see in him? He makes Jay’s jokes look cutting-edge.. And he’s kind of creepy, the way he looks into the camera sometimes.

    • mario


    • Lily

      OMG… that would’ve been so hilarious!

    • Q


    • strickens_girl

      That would have been brilliant!

    • Nihilistic

      Ah…no. But I admire the little crew of sycophants you’ve collected for yourself here.

      • Nihilistic

        I’m a moron.

      • skoal

        cool story, bro

    • Dolly

      That would have been brilliant.

  • jb

    dumbest move ever, dave.
    should have kept him down while he had him down.

    • dakmart

      nah… this ad reminds everyone how funny Dave is and Jay isn’t. Believe me, you won’t see anything nearly as funny coming from the Tonight Show.

      • Michael in LA

        Which is why I watch Dave, and have been for a very long time.

    • JD

      Dave is a competitor – he wants Jay at his fighting weight before he takes him on. He doesn’t want to win over Jay on a technicality.

      • skoal

        What are you, his personal trainer? How do you know what Dave wants?

  • kayla

    I have to agree that it would have been nice to see more of Craig Ferguson in any of the promos. Perhaps I just missed it, but as far as I could see there was just a brief glimpse of his set in one and you couldn’t even see the man himself. Would have loved to have seen such a great show get some promotion during such a big night.

    As far as Leno, I have a hard time believing no one and NBC knew what Leno was up to, or that they wouldn’t be angry if they truly did find out after the fact.

    • Rich

      No NBC signed off on it, so kudos to them for not being jerks about it.

      EW had a pretty good write-up about the entire thing yesterday.

      • nbc still jerks

        sorry, but NBC is still locking up as their intellectual property all of Dave’s old NBC Late NIght shows and now all of Conan’s late Night and Tonight shows so the world can’t see their genius vs. their chosen man Jay’s mediocrity….nbc executives still suck big time

  • sam

    A funny bit and both are now two of the big hits of the biggest super bowl. A shot in the arm for late night. It appears that everybody wins and a lot of the bitterness is gone. Good move, Dave.

  • Jim

    Yes. Lets’s add Ferguson, Conan, Fallon, and maybe Kimmel and turn a tight, funny joke into one of those meandering SNL bits that wanders off into oblivion.

    • josh

      I agree, Jim! What do people want, anyway? It’s show business…people are douches. These two birds show a little humanity and it’s not good enough.

    • Lala

      Agreed. I liked the joke a lot just the way it is, regardless of how it helps Leno. It was nice to see the two of them in a room together, and who knows? Maybe next year when Conan gets a new show all four of them can be on that couch.

    • Nihilistic

      Don’t forget Kristen Wiig!

    • Randy

      I once walked strgiaht into a glass door because I didn’t know there was glass in front of me. Although it wasn’t broadcasted in front of a live audience on national television, I sure felt silly.

  • deeannek

    I liked the ad-It worked because whoever thought they’d see Letterman and Leno on the same couch. I sitll think Leno is a big douchebag.

    • Cris

      Completely agree!

  • Danny B

    What do you mean full of it? His version? He said the same thing the other Letterman story said. I don’t get what the purpose of this post is. Jay told the story the same way it was previously reported. What purpose does this post serve?

  • Eric

    I think little credit is being given to Oprah. Her line reading and reactions (especially her facial expression to Dave’s last line) was priceless. Great commercial!

    • Good Actress

      Oprah is a good actress, she shines in any of her films, hope she makes some more now that she is retiring off the tv

      • terence carroll

        Oprah retiring from TV – HA! She may be ending this show when the contract ends, but you can be sure her new O Network will have her NEW show up and running the day the Network starts!

  • brandy

    He forgot about the part when Jay was actually replaced by Conan in the commercial, but after 7 seconds, they dropped Conan and then asked Jay back.

  • Blue Silver

    However this is sliced, Leno and Dave sharing a couch accounted for more conversation than the actual Super Bowl! Leno is not as bad as people are making him out to be. I sure wish people would stop being ignorant and understand that it was NBC that made this BIG MESS. CBS, on the other hand, is helping Jay with his ‘damage control’–and of course Dave is in on it!!!! :)

  • MW

    Wow, NBC must have spies watching the E.S. Theatre! And though nobody else recognised Jay, their spy mistook him for a tall, thin, black man? And why do they have a “problem” with Dave’s “secret show”?

    • Isembard

      Because even the spy doesn’t watch Leno, so how’d he recognize him?

  • Kate

    The commercial was hilarious, but Leno is still full of it. If he truly believes that “good joke” magically made “all the hostility go away”, he’s delusional. If anything, the fact that Leno agreed to participate shows how desperate he is to rehab his good guy image. We won’t get fooled again Jay.

  • Sabrina

    Jay Leno must have a pretty savvy publicist . . . poke fun at yourself during the most-watched TV event of the year. Doesn’t excuse him being a jerk.

  • crushwrestling.com

    Everyone wins so it’s all good. well Conan lost whocares

    • Dan

      No… Conan QUIT. There’s a difference.

      • Anonymous

        And he walked away with a severence package that contains more money then I’ll ever see in my lifetime. He’s fine.

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