Jimmy Kimmel Admits to Sucker-Punching Jay Leno – and Enjoying It

03/17/2010 at 10:40 AM EDT



For Jay Leno, the hits just keep on coming – from fellow talk show hosts, that is. Jimmy Kimmel visited the Late Show with David Letterman Tuesday, and the pair continued to use Leno as a verbal punching bag.

"I can't tell you how much I enjoyed your participation in the Jay Leno scandal," said Letterman, referring to the recent late-night talk show shakeup during which Leno replaced Conan O'Brien as the host of The Tonight Show. "I've known Jay a long, long time and it really got to be a lot of fun."

Although Kimmel joked that he and Leno are "very close," the late-night host couldn't help but join Letterman in dissing him.



"He went on The Oprah [Winfrey] Show and said I sucker-punched him," Kimmel said. "He's always running to tattle to Oprah whenever something happens, and I didn't feel like I did sucker-punch him. But then I looked it up in the dictionary and it turns out I did."

Kimmel was referring to an interview Leno gave to Oprah Winfrey in January during which he first used that term when discussing the fall-out after O'Brien's departure from NBC. Responding at the time, Kimmel said Leno actually "sucker-punched" him in a funny monologue on his show.


Kimmel also recalled his appearance on Leno's show, during which "he asked me 10 questions about nothing, and I asked him 10 questions about stealing Conan's job from him. And then I did not get a call the next day." Kimmel also did scathing imitation of Leno in January, donning a grey wig and a prosthetic chin.

"I would like to keep [the feud] going. We had him. We were drowning him, and you throw a lifesaver out there during the Super Bowl," Kimmel said, referring to a commercial Letterman filmed with Leno and Winfrey.

Replied Letterman: "I still think we can fire it up."

"It was a lot of fun," Kimmel said. "I'm going to miss it. I really am."

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