Jimmy Kimmel was the guest on last night’s 10@10 segment on The Jay Leno Show, where he literally spoke truth to Big Jay Leno. It is genuinely amazing to watch. Things don’t REALLY get going until about the fifth question, so feel free to skip ahead to the 2:40 mark, but it is kind of fascinating to watch the temperature in the room slowly drop by degrees until BOOM, there is NO MORE TEMPERATURE IN THAT FREEZING ROOM.
Leno does a pretty good job of squirming his way around the answers (that even his own audience is laughing at) with little “haha”s and “that’s right”s, but the last one is pretty rough. It is difficult to squirm around the fact that someone called you out as a childless multi-multi-millionaire with a dangerous car obsession who is literally ruining people’s lives* in an effort to stave off the night monsters that plague the fading and forgotten narcissist. Yikes! And in an industry built on narcissists, make no mistake: Jay Leno is the worst. The reason he brought Kimmel on his show in the first place was in an egomaniacal powermove, after Kimmel impersonated Jay Leno for his entire show on Tuesday, to gently reprimand him, put him back in his place, and remind him who was boss. Whoooooops!
Speaking of squirming:
One thing that has been mildly interesting to watch during this entire debacle is how NBC tries to promote the whole thing from both angles, with email and Twitter blasts about Conan’s latest “riff” on the situation, or Jay’s “response to the late night kerfuffle,” as if they’re just a fellow fan, happily watching two teams square off, when in reality they are the referees, and the field, and the fucking BALL. And the owners, up in their boxes. You know how sports work, I don’t have to explain it to you. But it would seem that NBC has finally drawn their self-interested line in the sand with this clip. The only thing that appears on Leno’s homepage is a toothless one-minute truncated version, and the Hulu video, which is also listed as only one minute long, just happens to not be working at all. Huh! Weird!
But man oh man. JIMMY KIMMEL, you guys! Even if you have found this entire late night thing to be boring and/or a noisy distraction from the very real tragedies that are happening in the world every day, to which I say YOU ARE PROBABLY RIGHT, it is pretty rare that someone takes anything as seriously or is willing to express themselves as plainly on national television as Jimmy Kimmel did last night. For that alone, it’s notable, and exciting. This should happen more often, and about things that have even larger affects on the plight of human beings in the world. There are a lot of Jay Lenos out there, and some of them have actual power that really matters. Let us stand up to them! Why aren’t we all standing up to them! Today we are all Jimmy Kimmel. FREEDOM!
And I know it goes without saying, but, YA BURNT, Jay Leno. YA BURNNNNNNNNT.
*Obviously, Conan O’Brien is also a multi-millionaire, and although he is clearly the “victim” here, one could make the argument that no matter what, he will be fine, even if he is banished from TV forever (and he is NOT banished from TV forever, duh). But there are dozens and dozens of people who work for him, many of whom packed up their entire lives and moved them to Los Angeles to help him with his new television show, and their fate is much less certain and much less financially secure. So a claim that Leno is ruining people’s lives is not just inter-millionaire hyperbole.