David Letterman also silent on upcoming three-way ratings fight
Jay Leno knocked his corporate bosses for a second night over budget cuts on his show, but both he and David Letterman ignored the news that they'll soon go head-to-head with Jimmy Kimmel at 11:35.
"Welcome to 'The Tonight Show,' or as we call it, 'Survivor: Comcast,'" Leno said in Tuesday's "Tonight Show" monologue, which came days after about 20 of his staffers were laid off and he agreed to a paycut. "NBC now stands for Nothing But Cutbacks." … Let me give you how bad the budget cuts have been. Tonight's monologue was written entirely by illegals."
He added: "It's not just us. They're cutting budgets all across NBC. Like this morning, on 'The Today Show'? Kathie Lee and Hoda were drinking Keystone Light."
The digs began with Monday's monologue, when Leno said: "As you may have heard, our parent company has downsized 'The Tonight Show.' And we’ve consistently been number one in the ratings. And if you know anything about our network, that kind of thing is frowned upon.”
Leno and Letterman were mum on the Tuesday's news, however, that "Jimmy Kimmel Live" will begin airing a half hour earlier in January and will compete head on with their shows.
In Tuesday's monologue, Kimmel said of the move: "Oftentimes, people will come to me and tell me, 'Your show's on too late for me.' Well, you're going to need a new excuse now, for instance, 'Your show sucks.'"
Maybe it's not surprising that Leno didn't welcome Kimmel to his new time slot. In February, Leno did a "Tonight Show" Valentine's Day segment in which he suggested Kimmel wears a toupee and dyes his hair. Kimmel responded with a Leno impersonation in which he reeled off a series of lame jokes.
In January 2010, Kimmel appeared on the "10 @ 10" segment of Leno's now-defunct "Jay Leno Show," and ripped Leno for taking back the "Tonight Show" from Conan O'Brien.
Watch Leno's monologue: