Back in January, when the whole Jay Leno Show-Tonight Show controvery was blowing up, David Letterman made something of a short-term fortune in bashing Jay Leno and the suits over at NBC.
Well, I missed this yesterday, but Letterman came back from vacation on Monday night, and seems to have rekindled the anger at his old comedy colleague, leaving me to wonder: What happens when Conan O’Brien starts his new nightly show over at TBS, and the whole drama is revived by both the red-haired man who was squeezed out and the thin-haired man who relishes any opportunity to pay back the men who screwed him over so many years ago?
For a quick refresher, these were the little Letterman asides that so amused us back in the dog days of winter, when Leno was positioning himself to once again take over The Tonight Show:
And then there’s this, my personal favorite, where Letterman takes a stroll down Memory Lane, merging right onto Schadenfreude Ave.
But as I alluded to earlier, out of the blue Monday night, in an interview with Brian Williams – who regularly appears both opposite David Letterman and Jany Leno in late night – Letterman’s NBC antagonism returned with gusto. Is this the way it’s going to be whenever a NBC personality swings by Dave’s couch?
It’s really quite scathing – a rant that, through all the squeaks and zingers, suggests that Jay is a fraud, that his interviews are flimsy, and that he’s an uninteresting rich man draped in the flag of blue-collar America. Pretty intense stuff. And who would have thought that anyone could make Brian Williams squirm.
All I know is that I’m itching to see what Conan does with the first days of his new show, how he’s going to get around whatever contract he signed to take aim at the Leno empire. And with both Conan and Dave, two disgruntled ex-NBCers laying waste to the Peacock, this could be the best fall for late-night TV in quite some time.