Jay Leno doesn’t appear to be winning anyone over with his move to retake “The Tonight Show,” as Jimmy Kimmel and Rosie O’Donnell tell him to let Conan O’Brien keep the show. “Shame on Jay Leno,” O’Donnell told reporters Thursday night after an HBO Television Critics Association panel, according to MSNBC. “I have been a big fan of Conan O’Brien,” she said, directing her comments to Leno. “And if you’re privileged enough to be asked to drive the bus, you should say thank you and drive it to the best of your ability and when it’s time for them to hire a new driver, you should say, ‘Thank you for allowing me to drive this for as long as I did,’ and pass the keys to the new guy.” “I think the best prank I ever pulled was… I told a guy once that five years from now I’m gonna give you my show,” Kimmel said. “And then when the five years came, I gave it to him, and then took it back almost instantly. It was hilarious.” Kimmel knocked Leno several times for reportedly taking “The Tonight Show” away from O’Brien, joking: “Listen, Jay, Conan and I have children, all you have to take care of is cars. I mean, who have lives to lead here. You’ve got $800 million, for God’s sakes… leave our shows alone.” mThe late night monologue jabs continued with O’Brien and David Letterman. “There’s a rumor that NBC is so upset with me, they want to keep me off the air for 3 years,” the “Tonight Show” host – for now – said. “My response to that is, if NBC doesn’t want people to see me, just leave me on NBC.” “No matter what happens,” Conan noted, “it’s been a real honor to sit in the same chair as Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, and Jay Leno.” Letterman, who went through his own late night shuffle long ago with NBC and Leno, seemed to delight in the new brouhaha. “Do you folks know what’s going on with NBC and the trouble they’re having with Jay Leno and Conan O’ Brien?” he asked his audience. “Are you getting tired of hearing about it? Me neither.” He went on to joke: “Let me define a couple of terms for you: bypass surgery is when doctors, surgeons restore blood flow to your heart. A bypass, a bypass is what’s happening to Conan O’Brien.” Reports on Thursday suggested Leno has already struck a deal to take over “The Tonight Show” once again, booting O’Brien, who will possibly find a home at another network. However, NBC sources have denied any deal was struck.
We had been told to expect the deaths of the famous to come in threes, not in the dozens. But all through the summer of 2009 came a ceaseless and somber drumbeat, as idols of all walks of life passed away. From Walter Cronkite to Sen. Ted Kennedy, the nonstop loss of luminaries continued almost as if a seasonal occurrence — as much a part of summer as hot dogs and humidity. If a filmmaker were trying to capture the summer of 2009, Michael Jackson news would be playing in the background. Many thought coverage of Jackson’s death was too much; a Pew Research Center poll released in July found that 64 percent of those surveyed thought the media blitz was overdone (though none could top MTV Japan, Continue reading →
It took a radio disc jockey to remind Jay Leno where he’ll stand in “Tonight Show” history when he walks off the stage for the last time Friday.Leno was at the wheel of one of his famous vintage cars when he heard the DJ conduct a pop quiz: Who’s the second-longest-running host of “Tonight,” after Johnny Carson? “The guy on the radio actually got it before I did,” Leno said Thursday, smiling. “It just sort of made me laugh. I went, ‘Oh, that’s pretty good.’” Maybe even better than good? “I come from ‘pretty good,’” replied Leno, unfailingly modest in interviews. “If somebody wants to say even better, that’s great.” He will have posted an impressive 17 years as “Tonight” host, but well short of Carson’s three decades that ended with his retirement in May 1992. Leno debuted as “Tonight” host a few days later. He leaves the show atop the late-night ratings, his run abbreviated by NBC’s decision five years ago to create a succession plan that gives “Tonight” to Conan O’Brien. On the eve of his final two shows, Leno strikes an unsentimental tone. But he knows what he’s leaving behind as he moves to a new, untested 10 p.m. EDT daily prime-time show for NBC this fall. “Will I miss it? Yes, terribly. It’s the most wonderful job ever in show business,” he said of “Tonight,” which started in 1954 with Steve Allen as host. Unlike the solitary road life of a typical standup comedian, telling jokes to an audience of maybe 100 or so, Leno said, he had the chance to make millions of viewers laugh — and then go home each night to his wife. In a conference room at NBC’s studio, a bulletin board typically filled with lists of guests and comedy bits for upcoming shows is nearly bare, down to the final two shows. “Prince,” read one red card for Thursday, when the pop star was set to appear. Prince’s baby-blue Bentley was parked in the studio lot, near the backstage entrance and next to one of Leno’s prized vehicles, an eye-catching red pickup truck. In the lunch room, the staff raided boxes of snack cakes, topped by a sign indicating they were compliments of Lyle Lovett, a guest earlier this week. On Thursday’s show, Billy Crystal, Leno’s first “Tonight” guest 17 years ago, returned to salute him with a musical medley akin to Crystal’s Oscar ceremony opening numbers. “Mustangs and Mazdas and shiny Mercedes, Model T Fords that he steals from old ladies,” sang Crystal, to the tune of “My Favorite Things.” Starting Monday, at a newly built studio at nearby Universal City, O’Brien will be the man in charge of “Tonight.” Leno declined to give advice to O’Brien, whom he called “a terrific guy” and a friend. “He’ll bring his sensibility” to the show, Leno said. Over the years, the two have called to commiserate privately after a “dreadful” guest visited “Tonight” or O’Brien’s “Late Night,” Leno said. “Hopefully, we’ll continue to do that,” he said. After all, the two are enjoying an amicable transition. “That’s what’s great about these American democracy things. We can peacefully hand over talk shows without looting and rioting,” Leno joked. This summer, he’ll continue doing his standup appearances that filled his weekends during his “Tonight” reign. More importantly, he’ll get ready for the new show that, he acknowledges, will face stiff competition in prime-time. “It’ll be really tricky. But we’ll just do the best we can,” Leno said. NBC is owned by General Electric Co.
Jared Leto wants kids in need to have more than a so-called life. The actor-musician and his band, 30 Seconds to Mars, on Friday opened up their recording session in the Hollywood Hills to boys and girls who were rescued from prostitution by the Los Angeles-based nonprofit Children of the Night. COTN, which counts Hugh Hefner and the Johnny Carson Foundation among its biggest contributors, has aided more than 10,000 youngsters between the ages of 11 and 17 since its founding 30 years ago by Dr. Lois Lee. Leto recently visited the 24-bed facility/school/counseling center and, after sitting down with some of the residents, was compelled to give back. “After meeting all of the wonderful people at COTN and hearing about their enthusiasm for art and music, I invited them to join us in the studio for a day while we make our next record,” Leto said in a statement to E! News this week. “We are looking forward to sharing this creative time with them .” 30 Seconds to Mars is currently at work on its third album. Next up for Leto on the big screen is the sci-fi drama Mr. Nobody.