His ABC late-night show just got moved opposite the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
And Jimmy Kimmel is already getting competitive with the 62-year-old talk show host in his cheeky new cover story with Rolling Stone - revealing his builder's bum as he declares Leno 'hasn't been funny in 20 years'.
The ABC star also accused Jay of being 'a master chef who opened a Burger King'.
'Leno hasn’t been a good stand-up in 20 years,' Jimmy said. 'As a comedian, you can’t not have disdain for what he’s done: He totally sold out.'
Kimmel, who apparently smoked copious ganja with the Rolling Stone scribe during his stoned-out tet-e-tet with the magazine, was more complimentary of David Letterman, his childhood idol.
'If I beat David Letterman in the ratings, does that mean I’m better than Letterman? No f**king way,' he said.
The newly engaged presenter also praised Leno’s NBC colleague, Jimmy Fallon, who hosts Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
'People are going to compare me and him for years to come - we’re being positioned as the Leno and Letterman of the next round,' Kimmel reportedly said. 'I like it because he’s a very worthy competitor.'
Kimmel's acerbic assaults on Leno - which lent the Rolling Stone interview the same air as a hyped prizefight's weigh-in - come only days before he moves his show from midnight to the coveted 11:35pm ET slot, where it will directly compete in the ratings with Leno's Tonight Show.
Specifically, the sallies concerning Leno were offered mostly in reply to the Rolling Stone scribe's question concerning the quality of Leno's recent sets at Los Angeles's Comedy & Magic Club.
However, Kimmel apparently didn't need an excuse to let fly on the established funnyman. Having long held Leno in contempt, Kimmel recently compared him to a weapon-wielding zombie who just won't die.
'Jay Leno is not going to be able to stay on television forever, and obviously Jimmy Fallon is the heir apparent,' Kimmel reportedly said.
'And [Fallon is] doing a great job, so it makes sense people would talk like this. That said, you can never count Jay out. He seems to pop up just when you think he's dead - he comes alive and he's got a hatchet.'
According to ABC News, Kimmel in 2010 offered audiences an unflattering impersonation of Leno on his show. He also chastised Leno for planning a return to 'The Tonight Show' after Conan O'Brien was forced out as the show's host the same year. And last year, at a New York City event, Kimmel said of Leno, 'F*** him.'
Leno has taken some hits of late from other comedy corners. None other than David Letterman recently weighed in, paying him a very backhanded compliment during a televised interview with Oprah.
'I will say, and I'm happy to say, that I think he is the funniest guy I've ever known,' Letterman reportedly said of Leno.
'Just flat out, if you go see him do his nightclub act, just the funniest, the smartest, a wonderful observationist and very appealing as a comic. Therefore, the fact that he is also maybe the most insecure person I have ever known - I could never reconcile that.'
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