While it doesn’t always look like it, the late-night TV war is a fierce one – and anyone who questions that need look no further than the Conan O’Brien – Jay Leno feud a couple years ago. Leno, who can’t seem to avoid controversy no matter where he goes, brought it on himself on Monday night, when he claimed that Jimmy Kimmel, host of Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel, colors his hair.
Leno ribbed Kimmel during a demonstration of a PETA-friendly accessory, a jacket/scarf hybrid that is made not of animal fur but instead is composed of wigs of Hollywood’s stars and starlets.
Kimmel, who alleges that he doesn’t do such a thing, answered the good-natured jab with a retort that only Kimmel could come up with: by humiliating himself. Kimmel brought out a wet towel and used it to rub his hair, claiming (rightfully) that if he died his hair, black would rub off on the towel. Well, it did, and Kimmel tried to cover it up, but to no avail.
It was at that point that Kimmel brought out a pit crew to repair his coiff, before going on to poke fun at Leno, Leno’s accent and Leno’s Grammy commentary.
The Huffington Post has more on the Kimmel-Leno feud that may or may not be real:
Of course, Kimmel and Leno’s history, full of camaraderie and conflict, goes back far. According to Bill Carter’s “The War For Late Night,” they became friendly during the WGA Writer’s Strike, when both their shows were off the air. However, the friendship was not permanent. Kimmel made headlines in 2010 during the Conan/Leno “Tonight Show” fiasco, when Kimmel did his show in full Leno get-up to poke fun at the host, who he perceived as stealing the “Tonight Show” back from its then-current host Conan O’Brien. After that, he appeared on “The Jay Leno Show” to tell Leno to his face what he really thought of his actions.
But on a recent episode of “WTF with Marc Maron,” Kimmel revealed that more went on behind the scenes that resulted in Kimmel lashing out at Leno publicly. “I was working [at ABC], and there was a good chance Jay Leno was going to come to ABC,” Kimmel told Maron, referring to the brief moment after “The Jay Leno Show” was cancelled and Leno was deciding what his next career move would be. “We had many, many conversations. And as soon as he decided to stay at NBC, those conversations were gone. And I felt kind of stupid, because I realized at that point, I [had been] been worked over.”