To promote Jay Leno’s appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show tomorrow, Harpo Productions released a short transcript from the interview that was taped yesterday on the set of the comedian’s cancelled primetime show. There’s nothing extraordinary about this particular exchange – Leno typically keeps his feelings to himself during most interviews — but apparently, he goes on to address his decision to return to The Tonight Show and the public reaction to the negotiations, which is obviously being reserved for tomorrow’s broadcast. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
Winfrey Have you talked to Conan in person?
Leno I haven’t talked to him through all this. No. I haven’t.
Winfrey Did you want to pick up the phone?
Leno Yeah, but it didn’t seem appropriate.
Leno I don’t know. I think it — let things cool down and maybe we’ll talk, you know.
Winfrey Were any of the things that he said about you hurtful?
Leno No. They were jokes. And that’s okay. I mean —
Winfrey So jokes don’t hurt you.
Leno It’s what we do, you know? You can’t — it’s like being a fighter and say when you got punched in the head, did it hurt? Well, yeah. But you’re a fighter. That’s what you do.
On Tuesday, NBC indicated that Leno’s doomed franchise in primetime will go off the air on Feb. 9 – two days earlier than expected.