That didn’t last long: After a few days of peace, Jay Leno returned to NBC-bashing Wednesday on “The Tonight Show.”
Amid rampant rumors he’s about to be replaced by Jimmy Fallon and that late-night’s No. 1 show will be moving back east, Leno made fun of the network’s well-chronicled ratings woes. After noting that NBC was back in a tenuous No. 2 position, thanks to the return of “The Voice” and “Revolution,” he joked that “between Easter and Passover, this is truly the season of miracles.”
Then Leno opted for a little toilet humor: “I’ve been saying that for the last week, that NBC is a big No. 2. Congratulations.” (Cue the groans.)
It wasn’t until later in the monologue that the knives really came out. “Speaking of T-Mobile, they announced yesterday they’re doing away with contracts,” Leno said. “So apparently they got the idea from NBC.”
The latest round in the decades-long late-night wars began last Monday, when Leno slammed NBC executives as “snakes” in his monologue -- quite a diss coming from a guy viewed as a loyal network footsoldier. The unusually sharply barbed jokes made more sense once reports emerged that Leno was about to be replaced by Fallon and “The Tonight Show” relocated to a brand-spanking new studio at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.
After another potshot in last Wednesday’s show, Leno held his tongue for a few days, but it now looks like the truce with NBC is officially over.