David Letterman joked about “Jay ‘Big Jaw’ Leno,” and the “chaos, craziness and mayhem” going on with NBC’s late night plans in his Tuesday night monologue.
He joked that Conan O’ Brien’s refused to take the 12:05 a.m. EST slot after Leno “after speaking with Johnny Carson” (the very move Letterman himself made during the political showdown for the Tonight Show chair almost 20 years ago).
Letterman said that NBC did call him recently to tell him, “We still don’t want you back,” as well as broadcasting a parody of NBC hit Law & Order: SVU titled Law & Order: Leno Victims Unit, depicting O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon and Carson Daly victims of Leno’s behind-the-scenes maneuvering.
The battles between Leno and Letterman for Carson’s chair are well-chronicled in the 1994 book, The Late Shift, and 1996 film of the same name.
CBS — which has garnered high late night ratings gains since NBC’s shakeup last summer — looks to have learned from watching NBC’s internal meltdown, as entertainment president Nina Tassler said this week that extensions are in the works for both Letterman and late night host Craig Ferguson.