Stern called Leno a “lapdog” and a “thief” who steals bits from him and David Letterman.
“Jay Leno pushed Johnny Carson out of ‘The Tonight Show,’” Stern told Harry Smith in an interview that was broadcast on both CBS and Sirius. “And he did it in a merciless way.”
Stern toned down the uncensored commentary for CBS, framing his loathing for Leno another way: “Just the mere mention of Jay Leno’s name makes me want to vomit.”
Leno, he said, is “the kind of showbiz animal that will not let go.” Stern said Leno should have walked when NBC decided to move him to 10 p.m. – the way Letterman did when the network picked Leno to take over “Tonight” instead of him. “Jay should’ve dusted himself off and gone to another network and beat [Conan].”
At the end of the spot, Stern was asked about rumors of his return to terrestrial radio and interest in an “American Idol” gig. He quickly brushed off the terrestrial radio question, and reiterated his position on “Idol,” saying if Fox paid him $100 million to judge a “talent show,” he’d do it.
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