Get Your Fresh Intelligence Daily

SUBMIT

Vicious Rivalries, Screaming Matches And Diva Demands: 14 Secrets & Scandals Behind Jay Leno’s Tonight Show

//secrets scandals jay leno tonight show wide

Jun. 25 2014, Published 7:41 a.m. ET

Link to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to Email

Jay Leno may have always worn a smile on stage during his 22 years as the host of The Tonight Show, but behind the scenes, the comedian dealt with constant drama. In his new book Behind the Curtain: An Insider’s View of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show (in bookstores June 30), producer Dave Berg reveals the NBC hit’s juiciest secrets.

Article continues below advertisement
//secrets scandals jay leno tonight show wide

Jay Leno may have always worn a smile on stage during his 22 years as the host of The Tonight Show, but behind the scenes, the comedian dealt with constant drama. In his new book Behind the Curtain: An Insider’s View of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show (in bookstores June 30), producer Dave Berg reveals the NBC hit’s juiciest secrets.

//trista sutter
Source: Getty

Bachelorette blunder! In 2003, Berg says Leno taped a segment with Bachelorette star Trista Sutter— and then went blank during a post-show run-in with the reality starlet in the parking lot! “He had no idea who she was and assumed she was someone from the studio audience,” Berg writes, “so he asked what her name was and where she lived. Oops!”

Article continues below advertisement
//christian bale
Source: Splash

Berg considers Christian Bale one of the show’s most difficult guests. The actor ended a 2002 pre-show interview and cancelled his appearance because “my questions were too personal,” Berg recalls. “I had asked him where he grew up (Wales), how big his family was (three sisters), and what his first gig was (a Pac-Man cereal commercial)….Christian didn’t seem to have even a basic understanding of how The Tonight Show worked.”

//teri hatcher
Source: Getty

Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde! Desperate Housewives star Teri Hatcher acted both sweet and sour around Berg. “I called her Teri One and Teri Two. Teri One was charming, smart, witty and flirtatious,” Berg writes. “Teri Two was moody. She would call me late the night before her schedule appearance, scream at me for not having better ideas, and then hang up.”

Article continues below advertisement
//howard stern

Shock Jock Howard Stern was the ultimate monster guest, Berg says, when he surprised Leno and the crew with two porn star guests who kissed onstage in a 1995 appearance. “Jay was absolutely furious, and even walked off the set for the first and only time, although it was never seen on air,” Berg recalls.

//colin farrell
Source: Getty

Stalker on set! In 1996, an audience member interrupted an interview with Colin Farrell. The actor stayed calm, “grabbed her elbow, led her offstage and handed her over to security,” Berg says

Article continues below advertisement
//quentin tarantino
Source: Getty

Buzzed in the hot seat! During a 2003 appearance, director Quentin Tarantino over-imbibed at “The Jay Bar,” a mobile cart stocked with wine and beer. “Tarantino was slurring his words and was occasionally incoherent during his interview,” Berg alleges.

//jessica simpson
Source: Getty

High-maintenance mogul! Jessica Simpson once said she would only make an appearance if the show covered her $18,000 hair and makeup tab, Berg claims.

Article continues below advertisement
//sharon osbourne ozzy osbourne

Though Sharon Osbourne recently confessed to romancing Leno in her twenties, Berg swears the famous family actually had a feud with the host. “In 2007, we had a falling out with the Osbournes and they never came back,” Berg claims. “It had to do with Ozzy’s music. Sharon, who was also Ozzy’s manager, demanded that he play two songs on the show, while our format limited guests to one.”

//dr phil
Source: Getty

Dr. Phil McGraw was a frequent Tonight Show guest— until the TV therapist became enraged with Leno for appearing on Oprah’s talk show instead of his own. During a heated phone conversation with Leno and producers, McGraw’s “voice got louder and louder and then he hung up….Dr. Phil would not be placated. He launched into a tirade, which seems to go on for about an hour,” Berg recalls.

Article continues below advertisement
//bill clinton
Source: Getty

The one that got away: Berg made numerous attempts to book Bill Clinton on the show over the years, but the former President refused each time. “He simply didn’t like Jay’s never-ending Monica Lewinsky jokes,” Berg claims.

//paula abdul
Source: Getty

Earth to Paula! Berg claims frequent guest Paula Abdul was “as ditzy as she appeared” during her stint as a judge on American Idol. “Her behavior was consistently erratic,” Berg recalls. “She would cancel appearances for strange reasons, and when she did show up, her speech was often so slurred we could barely understand her. But we always gave her a pass because she seemed normal on air. Well, normal enough.”

Article continues below advertisement
//eddie murphy
Source: Getty

The biggest diva award goes to Eddie Murphy! The comedian once requested an extensive list of drinks, snacks and toiletries, including Coca-Cola in glass bottles, four Milky Way bars, and large towels, for his 45-minute stay in the show’s dressing room, Berg claims.

//lindsay lohan
Source: Splash

Surprise, surprise! Troubled star Lindsay Lohan once cancelled a 2007 appearance the day she was scheduled because she had been arrested the night before on suspicious of drunk driving, Berg says.

//jay leno
Source: Getty

Appearing for pennies: Berg claims each guest— even A-list stars— were only paid $500 per booking on the show.

Advertisement

© Copyright 2021 Radar Media Group LLC. Radar and RadarOnline are registered trademarks. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.