Leno: 'I Take 95% of Blame' for Bad Press

He talks The Jay Leno Show , NBC, David Letterman, and more
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2009 10:31 AM CST
Jay Leno speaks during the panel for "The Jay Leno Show" at the NBC Universal Television Critics Association summer press tour in Pasadena, Calif. on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2009.   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
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(Newser) – Amidst a firestorm of negative press surrounding The Jay Leno Show, Leno gives a candid interview to Broadcasting & Cable on the fate of his new gig—and whether he’d trade places with David Letterman. Highlights:

  • On the slot: “Would I have preferred to stay at 11:30? Yeah, sure. I would have preferred that. If it were offered to me, would I take it? If that's what they wanted to do, sure.”

  • On Dave: “I wouldn't trade places with Dave now for anything! I don't think he's getting a free pass."
  • And the affair: "He's not being a hypocrite. Dave has never pretended to be Mr. Moral America, he's never set himself up that way.”
  • On the show: “I find there's a lot of anger at NBC. But it's like I say to the people who write the dramas: If I weren't doing this, it would be Dateline five nights a week or reality shows.”
  • And the bad press: "My name's on the product so I take 95% of the blame. I do kind of chuckle when people compare a show you do every night to a special that's on once or twice a year on HBO. We do a 14-minute monologue five nights a week; are all the jokes going to be gems? No. But they do OK."