Emmys Carson tribute: Where was Leno?

It was surprising enough to see David Letterman at the Emmys, making a rare awards show appearance a decade after his Uma-Oprah debacle at the Oscars. It was even more surprising to see Dave totally serious and stiff for the Johnny Carson tribute that had brought him to speak at the Shrine Auditorium.

But most surprising was the apparent acknowledgement by everyone (not just Jon Stewart), that it’s Letterman, not Jay Leno, who’s Carson’s true heir. After all, Leno didn’t speak at the tribute or appear in the clip montage, nor was his name mentioned. (When his name did come up, as a nominee for Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program, the hall was strangely silent.) Asked by Entertainment Weekly about Leno’s absence from the tribute, Emmy producer Ken Ehrlich declined to comment, but a Tonight Show publicist told the magazine that the talk-show host was never asked to appear in the segment in the first place.

You can read the full story in the Emmy wrap-up in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly that comes out Friday.

Comments (17 total) Add your comment
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  • Mike

    Leno is a hack.

  • Sean


  • Johanna

    I was glad he was snubbed. David Letterman is awesome and I love him. Leno is stupid and ridiculous.

  • Anonymous

    You’re a hack. That’s the second comment you made on today’s blog regarding someone being a hack. Grow up.

  • nessa

    Leno sucks.

  • Tommy G

    I lost respect for Leno the day he sold out and put his mug and The Tonight Show logo on a box of cereal. He’s a sellout; something Carson would’ve never done. Plus, he’s not very funny. Sorry, Jay.

  • Tim

    Letterman is funnier. And it was a nice tribute to Carson. I can’t picture Leno doing it.

  • susieq

    It’s the second time today i’ve seen an entry that ends with “for the full story check out the next issue of EW on stands Friday.” Enough with the advertising already. If we read print, we wouldn’t be here in the first place.

  • Gil

    Dave and Johnny were friends. Remember, Johnny supplied Dave with jokes almost up to the end. Leno may have taken Johnny’s timeslot, but he can never take Johnny’s place.

  • Ron Mwangaguhunga

    Have you ever noticed Bill Maher’s monologue routine on “Real Time.” It’s a carbon copy impersonation of Johnny Carson, down to the vocal intonations and the embarrassed facial ticks. It’s either uncanny or creepy or both that a talk show host could so completely emulate his idol. I stilll have love for Bill, though.

  • Edward

    Leno is not a hack! Are you kidding me? He is a comedian’s comedian! Have you watched The Late Show lately? It’s so f-ing annoying! Atleast Leno puts on a great show and he’s funny too! He writes his own jokes, he works hard at what he does. Everybody puts him down because NBC gave him the job instead of Dave but he has always been dignified. Not to mention he has never badmouthed Dave. What does Letterman do exactly? Play “Will It Float?” and dropping crap on the pavement from the roof? How is that funny? Letterman even takes potshots at Leno whenever he has a chance on his show. Leno has a complete show and he is much funnier than Dave IMO. Honestly Letterman does have better interview skills but on the whole The Late Show sucks.

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