Jay Leno Responds to Claims He “Sabotaged” Conan O’Brien’s Tonight Show

It’s been years since the infamous “Late Night Wars” between Jay Leno and rival David Letterman but now Leno is speaking out about reports that he sabotaged another host’s show.

In May of 2009, Leno stepped down as host of The Tonight Show and Conan O’Brien took over the spot.  Leno went on to host The Jay Leno Show but the change didn’t last long.  Leno returned as host of The Tonight Show in 2010. 

On Sunday’s episode of Bill Maher’s Club Random podcast, Leno denied he “deliberately sabotaged” the late-night show when Conan took over.

“That doesn’t work,” Leno told Maher. “It doesn’t work that way. You try and do the best you can and it didn’t work.”

“Sometimes the czar you have is better than the one you’re going to,” he added. “Then you have your old team shooting at you as well. I just figured let’s just play this out and see what happens. This all happened fairly quickly.” 


Editorial credit: Kathy Hutchins