How Letterman, Leno and Oprah Came Together

The Super Bowl ad that surprised everyone

The Super Bowl ad that surprised everyone was a short promotional spot for CBS’s The Late Show With David Letterman, where Letterman was watching the Super Bowl with Oprah Winfrey—and, on the same couch, his longtime late-night rival Jay Leno. (“This is the worst Super Bowl party ever,” Letterman moaned.) According to late-night expert Bill Carter in the New York Times, the promo was shot last Tuesday, with Leno and Winfrey flown to Letterman’s New York studio “under the strictest of secrecy.” Leno even wore a fake moustache and glasses to get himself into the studio without being recognized. Letterman’s staff came up with the idea and suggested it to Leno, who agreed to do it and cleared it with his bosses at NBC. Though some have seen this spot as Leno’s attempt to rehabilitate his shattered image as a good guy, Letterman’s executive producer told Carter that “this wasn’t done to help Dave or Jay,” but added that “I think it does help both of them.”

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