Howard Stern Blasts ‘Tonight’ Show’s Jay Leno: ‘Just the Mention of His Name Makes Me Want to Vomit’

Howard Stern Blasts ‘Tonight’ Show’s Jay Leno: ‘Just the Mention of His Name Makes Me Want to Vomit’

By Richard Huff
March 2nd 2010

Howard Stern dislikes Jay Leno and he’s not afraid to say it.

And perhaps, CBS’ “The Early Show,” seeing potential ratings in Stern just doing that, gave the outspoken radio host upwards of four minutes Tuesday morning to slam the “Tonight Show” boss.

“Just the mere mention of Jay Leno’s name makes me to want to vomit,” Stern told “Early Show” anchor Harry Smith — who, not surprisingly, barely got a word in.

“I don’t like this guy,” Stern said. “I don’t disguise it.”

Stern was on to weigh in on the late-night wars, which got underway again Monday night when Leno returned to host “Tonight.”

Leno left the show last June as part of a five-year NBC plan to replace him with Conan O’Brien on “Tonight.” Leno left reluctantly, and announced he would do a comedy show weeknights at 10 p.m.

O’Brien’s version of “Tonight” struggled in the Nielsen department, followed by Leno failing in the 10 p.m. slot. In January, NBC officials decided to move Leno back to late night with a half-hour show at 11:35 p.m., followed by O’Brien at 12:05 a.m. with “Tonight.”

O’Brien balked at the move, saying he didn’t want to be part of the destruction of the “Tonight” franchise. He then negotiated a settlement for himself and his staff worth $45 million.

“Jay Leno seems to be the kind of showbiz animal that won’t let go,” Stern said, suggesting Leno should have initially walked away when NBC decided to replace him. “Jay is a lap dog.”

Smith did say that television was a business, and Leno was able to generate ratings and revenue for NBC.

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