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TVR Awards -- The Best Jokes Lobbed at Leno and NBC During the 'Tonight Show' Debacle (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 30th 2010 5:00AM


There was no more captivating story to unfold on TV this year than the shakeup at 'The Tonight Show.' When NBC got impatient with new host Conan O'Brien after only seven months on the job and began experimenting with ways to re-install Jay Leno in his old gig, it sparked a controversy that quickly engulfed the entire TV scene. Comedians and rival hosts from across the dial dove right into the real-life drama, cracking jokes, taking sides, and reacting to new developments nightly. It was a good old-fashioned late-night war, and it inspired a lot of excellent comedy. Who got in the funniest jabs? Check out our video collection and vote for your favorite jokes in the poll below.

An Earthquake Knocked Leno From 10:00 to 11:35: After the story broke about NBC's proposal to move 'The Jay Leno Show' back to 11:35 for a half hour, , taking over 'The Tonight Show's' start time, Conan O'Brien told his audience about a 6.5 earthquake that struck California. "The earthquake was so powerful," he said. "It knocked Jay Leno's show from 10:00 to 11:35."

NBC Is Putting Johnny Carson On At 10PM: "Once again, I did not get 'The Tonight Show,'" David Letterman told is audience. He then told them of NBC's latest plan. "They are bringing back Johnny Carson and they're putting him on at 10PM," he said. As for right now on NBC: It's 'Nighttime with Chuck & Don,' featuring Charles Grodin & Don King.

Other Shows NBC Would Like to Apologize For: Jay Leno announced that in response to the 17 million viewers who watched last year's Golden Globes, the network had decided to air reruns of the awards show at 10PM five nights a week. He then went on to present a lengthy list of other NBC-produced flops the network would like to apologize for, aside from 'The Jay Leno Show.'

Jay Leno Will Participate in the Destruction of 'The Tonight Show': Jimmy Kimmel put on a fake chin and hair and performed an entire episode of his show as Jay Leno. In response to O'Brien's statement that he would not "participate in the destruction of 'The Tonight Show,'" fake-Leno responded, "Fortunately, I will."


The Best Prank Jimmy Kimmel Ever Pulled: Leno had Kimmel on his "10@10" segment and asked him the best prank he ever pulled. "I told a guy that five years from now I'm gonna give [him] my show," he said. And then when the five years came, I gave it to him, and then I took it back almost instantly."


Robin Williams Performs an Irish Song Blasting NBC: Robin Williams appeared as a guest on 'The Tonight Show' and performed an Irish tune he'd written about the situation. The profanity-laced song with the refrain "[Bleep] the [bleep] that can't take a joke. The middle finger was flying and the two performed a jig to the ditty.

The Red-Head Guy Told Chris Rock Leno Would Be Right Back: Shortly after Jay Leno retook 'The Tonight Show,' Chris Rock appeared on the program and gave Leno a good ribbing. "Last time I was on, this red-head guy told me you'd be right back," he said. He then joked that Leno had gone out and got a "cheaper brother" to replace Kevin Eubanks, teasing Rickey Minor, the show's new bandleader.

Norm MacDonald's Late Delivery of a Congratulatory Gift Basket: On one of Conan's last 'Tonight Shows,' Norm MacDonald brought him a gift basket that he said he'd misplaced since June. The card read: "Congratulations Conan on finally securing your place as permanent host of 'The Tonight Show' ... That's something they can never take away from you."


What was your favorite joke about the 'Tonight Show' debacle?
An Earthquake Knocked Leno From 10:00 to 11:35403 (9.4%)
NBC Is Putting Johnny Carson On At 10PM179 (4.2%)
Other Shows NBC Would Like to Apologize For122 (2.8%)
Jay Leno Will Participate in the Destruction of 'The Tonight Show'282 (6.6%)
The Best Prank Jimmy Kimmel Ever Pulled1168 (27.2%)
Robin Williams Performs an Irish Song Blasting NBC628 (14.6%)
The Red-Head Guy Told Chris Rock Leno Would Be Right Back405 (9.4%)
Norm MacDonald's Late Delivery of a Congratulatory Gift Basket1103 (25.7%)


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Cassie

To all the Leno fans: You wouldn't know funny if it hit you in the head with a sledgehammer. Conan is funnier than Leno will ever be. I will support Conan in whatever he does. I'm forever with Team Coco!

December 30 2010 at 9:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Cassie's comment
Gary Middleton

"Team Coco" is the "Frankie Says Relax" of 2010.

January 01 2011 at 3:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Edith Hall

I watched Leno faithfully for years, but also watched Conan. Since Conan lost the Tonight Show, I have indefinitely stopped watching Leno and now I Tivo Conan while I'm watching Letterman and then watch Conan. I LOVE his new show and I support him 100%. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, I am totally a part of TEAM COCO!

December 30 2010 at 3:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tripledawg3

all the jokes you wish..........but who, again i ask who is the number 1 funny man.....
ekoseck.......he has bee number for the last 8 years so i guess he is funny......

December 30 2010 at 3:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

Kimmel is a punk, a fraud, a light weight. How he still has a show is beyond me.

December 30 2010 at 3:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gregory Schwartz

Too bad we Americans have nothing better to do late night than watch the silly antics of Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel and Chelsea Lately. They are all overpaid, bufoons. Jay Leno must say "exactly" at least twenty times every show. Conan was given $5 Million for "compensation" when his inept show was cancelled. That's enough money for ten normal people to live the rest of their lives with. This trash just shows us how pathetic we as a nation have become. - gregg in Sarasota, FL

December 30 2010 at 3:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard

I think it is pathetic how Letterman has no problem attacking Jay and how everyone left Letterman's infidelity problems completely alone when they could have torn him a new Az hole! (and should have!) Shows where the integrity is.

December 30 2010 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brandi

they all suck lol late night television is horribly useless unless you are an old, nosy, loser with nothing else better to do with your life.

December 30 2010 at 2:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JIM

when you're number 1, you always get attacked by those beneath you

December 30 2010 at 2:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MR STONE

THIS IS WHY Johnny Carson was king of late TV for over 30 years

December 30 2010 at 1:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
getchaos

Wow...thats the first time i see so many Leno supporters.

I don't really watch any of them (Leno or Conan) but the war was fun for the tv viewers and put a bit of life into all that same boring late night stuff thats airing all the time!

December 30 2010 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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