Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Jay Plays Victim as Oprah Joins Team Leno

Sure, Conan O'Brien lost his dream job in a career-undermining, confidence-destroying, very public and contract-breaching kind of way—but Jay Leno got his feelings hurt.

So, who's the victim now, hmmm?

Luckily, longtime Jay pal Oprah Winfrey gave the voiceless (save for that one-hour-a-night, five-nights-a-week) victim the opportunity to defend himself.

Suffice it to say, he didn't exactly rise to the challenge.

While Leno's full sit-down with Her Oprahness won't air until tomorrow, the good people at Harpo have unleashed an anticipation-building clip of the yakkers' conversation.

"I haven't talked to him since all this," Leno says of O'Brien.

When pressed by Oprah as to whether he ever wanted to reach out to to his one-time successor, Leno admitted it had crossed his mind, though it didn't exactly sound like it was at the top of his to-do list.

"It didn't seem appropriate," he says. "I don't know, I think, let things cool down and maybe we'll talk, you know?"

Not exactly, Jay. You know what could happen if you wait too long to make that phone call.

Still, that's enough about What's-His-Name. Let's get back to the real victim in all this.

"Were any of the things he said about you hurtful?" Winfrey asks, referring to Conan's monologue shots (and not, oddly enough, the more barbed verbal grenades lobbed by David Letterman).

"No, they were jokes," Leno answered, not quite convincingly. "And that's OK."

"It's what we do, you know. You can't...It's like being a fighter and saying, 'When you got punched in the head, did it hurt?' Well, yeah, but you're a fighter, that's what you do."

It's safe to say that's the sort of legacy not everyone hopes to leave in their wake. We're calling this round for Team CoCo.