1:27 pm - 01/08/2013

Jimmy Kimmel Prepares For Battle With Jay Leno tonight

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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hedgerowbustle 8th-Jan-2013 06:55 pm (UTC)
Ugh, I hate when the late night hosts slam each other. I thought they all vowed to not do that anymore?

I really don't get the love these dudes have for Letterman, he's not funny. I've tried for years to watch him, but he does nothing for me.

I enjoy Kimmel, but I'm not giving up my Colbert for him. Him at midnight was perfect for me. Boo.

Edited at 2013-01-08 06:56 pm (UTC)
anna_bea2 8th-Jan-2013 07:03 pm (UTC)
thought they all vowed to not do that anymore?
only Fallon and Ferguson did that, I think.
yurasama_love 8th-Jan-2013 07:38 pm (UTC)
I thought it was beautiful how they would talk to each other with the camera, going, "I love you man."
saintssin 8th-Jan-2013 07:14 pm (UTC)
I don't think most of them attack each other. They just collectively hate on Leno - which is what most late night fans do anyway.

I personally like Leno, or did in the past. Kimmel's funny, Craig is good at interviews, and I haven't seen shit from Fallon in ages.

Letterman is deplorable.
brokenseas 8th-Jan-2013 07:27 pm (UTC)
I get that it's his schtick but Letterman just seems bitter and rude to his guests. Idgi and I wouldn't want to go on his show if I were a celeb
weighty_ghost 8th-Jan-2013 08:16 pm (UTC)
I think most of the late night hosts have respect for one another, respect for the craft and the legacy. Letterman may not be funny now (I've personally never been a fan) but he had his place years ago, his comedy was 'in'. Some of these guys have known each other for years so thats where that good relationship comes from.

I think when Leno fucked up everything, I'd imagine most hosts lost a huge amount of respect they had for him so don't care about saying bad things about him
williammiller 8th-Jan-2013 08:49 pm (UTC)
Letterman is so rude to his guests. A lot of his fans try to say that's just his ~humor but I'm not buying it. His segments aren't funny and his banter between him and Paul are so fucking annoying.
justrachna 8th-Jan-2013 09:31 pm (UTC)
When letterman is on he can be phenomenal. He has gotten lazy in recent years and his humour isn't for everyone. He's very dry and sarcastic. If anyone has the right to thrash leno it's letterman and conan since leno pulled his shenanigans on both of them. That being said jimmy didn't lie in his assessment of leno. Leno deserves the shit he gets thrown at him.
deja_vu822 8th-Jan-2013 09:58 pm (UTC)
I've never really enjoyed Letterman either. But all the new hosts talk about how he influenced them when they were growing up or new to their careers. I'm sure he was a much fresher, different person back then. Conan was a much different host just a few years ago. I don't know what happened when he left Late Night, but something changed and it feels like his heart isn't in it as much as it used to be. So I'm willing to accept Letterman was what they say he was back then, even if it isn't that to people now.
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