Kimmel Warns Oprah: Jay ‘Will Take Your Show Next’

Fighting back after Leno claims he was sucker-punched by Kimmel, ABC’s late-night guy tells his side of the story

Last Updated: January 29, 2010 @ 3:09 PM

Jimmy Kimmel is punching back at Jay Leno.

Thursday, Leno told Oprah Winfrey that he felt "sucker punched" by Kimmel’s appearance on "The Jay Leno Show" during the height of LateNightCrisis 2010. Kimmel used a "Ten @ 10" segment to take a series of jabs at Leno on Leno’s own show.

On his show Thursday, Kimmel spoke out at length about his Leno appearance, arguing Leno should have realized Kimmel had no desire to play nice.

Here’s what Kimmel had to say:

I don’t know that I would characterize going on someone’s comedy show and making jokes qualifies as a sucker-punch, but as long as Jay is talking about me, you want to know what the real story is?

{audience responds ‘YES’}

It would be funnier if you said ‘no.’ ‘Nah, I’m kind of sick of that, let’s make fun of the Gosselins.’

Here’s the story. A couple of weeks ago, I did a show where I dressed up like Jay Leno and impersonated him. And Cleto dressed like his cackling bandleader and impersonated him and we had a lot of fun at their expense.

So the next morning, Jay calls me. I was in a meeting and they said ‘Jay Leno’s on the phone,’ and I was like great, this will be comfortable.

But he gets on the phone and says he thought it was funny. Now, I’m almost positive that this is a lie, but I take his word for it.

So then, about an hour later, “The Tonight Show” calls and they ask me to do the 10 @ 10 – this is the thing where Jay interviews someone via satellite and asks 10 questions.

So I say yes, assuming that we are going to talk about what’s going on in late-night.

Now, before they do these 10 @ 10 interviews, a producer calls to go over all the questions. And then you’re supposed to go on the show and act like you’re surprised by the questions. So I get on the phone and the producer goes through about 30 questions and none of them are about what’s going on in late night. The questions were like, ‘What’s your junk food weakness?’

So I say to the guy, ‘You know a little of this is fine, but I really think we have to talk about what’s going on with Jay and Conan because that’s what people want to hear about – not about my junk food weakness. I weigh more than 200 hundred pounds, all junk foods are my weakness.’

He says ‘yeah I know, but there’s been a lot of talk about that stuff and we don’t want to beat it to death.’

But what he did not understand was I did want to beat it to death. I like beating things to death. And so I did.

Because, if I go on that show and answer ten questions about junk food, I’m the one that looks like a jerk. ‘Hi Jay, oh I love Raisinettes!’

If I made any mistake, the mistake I made was thinking Jay would have anything other to say than what was written on the cue cards. I figured he’d get into it and mix it up. You know, at one time he was a comedian. But he just stood there, kind-of reading through the questions like a robot and then goes off and rats me out to Oprah.

That’s a sucker punch right there, he’s a tattle tale. Oprah and I had a wonderful relationship and now it’s ruined because of Jay.

And by the way, watch out Oprah, don’t think he won’t take your show next.

Anyway, I don’t know whether this attempt he made at damage control will work, but it is fair to listen to what he has to say.

By the way, I’m not answering the phone tomorrow.