Leno and Letterman (YouTube)

David Letterman reportedly sent Jay Leno an invitation to appear on "Late Show"

The late-night television rivals may appear together before Letterman retires in May


Sarah Gray
January 29, 2015 3:19AM (UTC)

David Letterman reached out to his former late-night rival Jay Leno, and invited him to appear on "Late Show with David Letterman," according to TV insider. Letterman is set to retire in May, leaving little time for the two to bury the hatchet on one of their respective late-night programs. (Leno retired from "The Tonight Show" last year.)

Prior to the Leno/Letterman rift -- which began when Leno was asked to host "The Tonight Show" after Johnny Carson retired -- Leno was a regular appearance on "Late Night with David Letterman."

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Leno last appeared on "Late Night" in 1992, and never appeared as a guest on "Late Show." Respectively, Letterman never appeared on "The Tonight Show."

It is now up to Leno to decide how this late night war ends. Last year Leno told TV Insider that he'd be open to appearing on the "Late Show" and said kind words about appearing on "Late Night with David Letterman":

"The real trick to being a comedian is finding that perfect audience. Seinfeld is a perfect audience, as I am with him, and Letterman is too,” Leno said. “With Dave it was never about the joke, it was the joke-on-the-way-to-the-joke that always would get the laugh. Dave would always laugh. I remember talking to Dave once and saying, ‘You know, Dave, I was out in California, out at the old Manson place,’ and Dave would go, ‘The old Manson place!’ And I’d say, ‘Oh yeah, the old Manson place!’ I knew he would think that was funny and he did."

No word on whether Leno will accept the invitation. Splitsider is reporting that last week Leno had no real response: "I haven't heard that. I'll have to check into that."

Here they are together on "Late Night":

And again:


Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

MORE FROM Sarah Gray

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Comedy Jay Leno Late Night The Late Show With David Letterman The Tonight Show With Jay Leno Video

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