ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel will appear on NBC’s The Tonight Show on Jan. 10, followed by an appearance by Leno on Kimmel Live later that night, according to a joint statement released by the networks this morning. In the statement, Leno said, “There are only a few people in the world who know how tough this job is. Jimmy is one of them. It will be fun to discuss who’s a good guest, who’s a difficult guest and everything else that comes with sitting behind these desks.” Added Kimmel, “If Jay and I can come together and guest on each other’s shows, then surely there is hope for peace in the Middle East.”
The pairing of the two hosts is rather odd, given how both men work for competing networks (though their shows air in different time slots and appeal to different demographics). What’s more, Kimmel has never been the biggest Leno supporter; he’s always been quicker to champion Letterman’s brand of comedy and has been known to take pot shots at the NBC host. But Kimmel and Leno have reportedly become confidantes of late, an apparent act of solidarity for the two hosts who, unlike CBS’ late night stars, returned to the air Jan. 2 without their writers in tow, forcing both to come up with their own material.
Leno came under fire by the WGA for writing his own monologue upon returning with the Tonight Show. The WGA claims his actions were a violation of strike rules; NBC maintains that Leno was within his rights per the network’s collective agreement with the union.