What sex scandal? David Letterman was in jovial spirits on The Late Show Thursday night, continuing to poke fun at NBC and Jay Leno for their roles in the late night fiasco of 2010, that took another turn when the network and Conan O’Brien agreed on a $44 million severance deal, clearing the way for Leno to reclaim The Tonight Show.
“Hey, weather — is the weather wacky where you folks live?” Letterman, who currently sits atop the late night ratings perch, said. “Listen to this: four days of rain in Los Angeles … and it’s been such a problem in Southern California, in Los Angeles in particular, that earlier Jay Leno held a press conference to announce that it wasn’t his fault.”
Letterman took more thinly-veiled shots at Leno, saying “there are rumors that President Obama may be paid to leave office and Bush will get his old job back.”
The Peacock Network didn’t escape Dave’s wrath either, as hard feelings from his 1992 split are more than evident 18 years later.
“As part of the settlement with Conan O’Brien, Conan will not be allowed to badmouth NBC,” Dave joked. “Ah, don’t worry, leave it to me. I’ll take care of that.”
Tempers in late night have heated up since the power struggle at NBC erupted, with Letterman and Leno taking open shots at one another on their shows, a practice they generally avoided during their head-to-head competition the first go-round.
Leno, wary of the nightly abuse at the hands of his gap-toothed rival, struck back Wednesday at Letterman’s jugular — the extortion sex scandal in which Letterman admitted to cheating on his wife with Late Show staffers — with a joke of his own.
“Letterman had been hammering me every night,” Leno said. “Hey Kev, you know the best way to get Letterman to ignore you? Marry him. He will not bother you. He won’t look you in the eye.”