Jimmy Kimmel: Jay Leno 'hasn't been good at stand-up in 20 years' | EW.com

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Jimmy Kimmel zings: Jay Leno 'hasn't been good at stand-up in 20 years'

Jimmy Kimmel

(Randy Holmes/ABC)

Jimmy Kimmel has been anything but shy about his animosity toward Jay Leno over the years, but exactly how deeply he dislikes the Tonight Show host is made evident in a recent article by Rolling Stone.

In the magazine’s cover story, Kimmel – whose late-night show Jimmy Kimmel Live will find itself in direct timeslot competition with Leno and David Letterman starting Jan. 8 – is quoted as saying a host of harsh comments about Leno, with whom he has publicly panned in the past.

“Leno hasn’t been a good stand-up in 20 years,” Kimmel is quoted, a response to the article writer’s question about the quality of Leno’s weekly sets at the Comedy & Magic Club in Los Angeles. And later, he says, “As a comedian, you can’t not have disdain for what he’s done. He totally sold out.”

But Kimmel does not see his disdain as unwarranted, noting a 2008 incident in which Leno played nice only – as he sees it – in hopes of getting Kimmel to surrender his existing late-night position to make room for a potential new program with Jay on ABC. (The deal never went through.) Additionally, Kimmel is a well-known supporter of David Letterman, whom was famously passed up for the Tonight Show gig – he even roasted Letterman warmly at the Kennedy Center Honors earlier this month.

The article notes that Leno declined to comment for the Rolling Stone story.

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