But Leno maintained that the rift with his late-night rival was a tabloid creation, and said the two actually like each other: “We started out together, he still makes me laugh as much as anybody.” Leno added, “Brilliant wordsmith, very funny guy.”
Leno said he actually spoke with Letterman a month ago, talking about “things in TV and what was going on here” — presumably meaning the host’s second “Tonight Show” exit.
The candid conversation occurred when Cohen asked Leno to play “Plead the Fifth” from Cohen’s own Bravo talk show, “Watch What Happens Live.”
Here’s how the game works: Cohen asks a celebrity three questions, they can “plead the fifth” to one, but must answer the other two honestly. The question that prompted the open answer was his first one to Leno: “What is the misconception about you that irritates you the most?”
After the explanation, Cohen also asked Leno what he would say to Johnny Carson if he had the chance. The soon-to-be-former “Tonight Show” host answered, “Thank You.”
Towards the end of the segment, first guest Melissa McCarthy jumped in on the fun, when the conversation turned to worst notes the comedians ever got from their respective networks. Her answered involved being asked to do a ridiculous, hacky pose for a promo.
Watch the clip: