Kimmels and Bits -

Kimmels and Bits


I know this is dangerously close to turning into the late-night-wars blog, but I can’t resist putting up yet another clip that proves that Jimmy Kimmel is the big winner of the late-night wars. Whether or not Leno really was taken by surprise with his “10 at 10” answers, his Oprah interview (“I got sucker-punched”) made it sound like he was taken by surprise, thereby sealing Kimmel’s newfound reputation as some kind of dangerous bad-boy prankster. And Kimmel seized the opportunity by responding to Leno on his show last night, telling the story behind that segment, and making some even nastier jokes about Big Jaw, including “at one time he was a comedian” and “I don’t know that going on a comedy show and making jokes qualifies as a sucker-punch.”

Leno and Kimmel are basically friends, so there’s probably a certain amount of Kabuki going on here. That’s why I say I’m not really sure that their stories are really the gospel behind-the-scenes truth about what went on. But Kimmel, whom I still mostly think of as Ben Stein’s sidekick because I used to watch that show all the time (I was in college, I didn’t have a class at that hour, give me a break; I had to do something and I sure wasn’t going to read), could have been in trouble in all this — given all the big talk show hosts wandering around without jobs, looking for a network to take over. Instead he seems to have made his job more secure and found himself a niche: he’s the host for people who like to make fun of Leno without hating him as much as Letterman does.

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Kimmels and Bits

  1. Leno needs a new PR team: someone needs to tell Jay to lay off the victim card for a while. Kimmel "sucker punched" him? He does realize that's exactly what a lot of people would call what Jay's done to Conan, right?

    He'd probably do a lot better reputationally if he'd just lay low, or man up and say forthrightly that his show is a better product for the 11:35 slot. This passive-aggressive "I didn't do anything but somehow eveything turned out my way at the end" spin just isn't clicking.

  2. "oh great, this will be comfortable!"

    since we are in the confession business i watched a ton of stein/kimmel.

  3. Whether what Jay did to Conan should be considered a “sucker puch” or simply “a dish best served cold” depends on what happend back in 2004 when NBC agreed to give the Tonight Show to Conan. Did Jay happily agree to that at the time, or did NBC force it down his throat?

  4. “thereby sealing Kimmel’s newfound reputation as some kind of dangerous bad-boy prankster. ”

    “Newfound”? Just pray you don’t get within a hundred miles of him. His reputation as a prankster is both well-deserved and greatly to be feared. Just ask Adam Carolla, Bill Simmons, Cousin Sal, etc.

  5. Thanks Jaime.

    Sorry if people are tired of hearing it, but Kimmel rules.

  6. Leno and Kimmel are basically friends

    I think it's better to say they were at this point friendly. Kimmel was rather pissed with Leno for a good long bit after his show launched 'cause Leno played hardball with the newcomer and kept poaching guests.