Howard Stern Blasts Jay Leno for Jimmy Kimmel Diss: 'No One Is More Cruel'
By Antoinette Bueno
Howard Stern is jumping into the latest Jimmy Kimmel/Jay Leno beef.
After 65-year-old Leno told the Daily News that 47-year-old Kimmel is in third place in the late night ratings behind Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert because "he's got a mean streak," Stern bit back on Wednesday.
"No one is more cruel than Jay Leno," Stern, 61, said bluntly on his SiriusXM show. "Jimmy Kimmel is one of the nicest guys on the planet."
Taking a personal dig at the former Tonight Show host, he added, "Jay is putting his enormous chin where it doesn't belong."
Stern also responded to Leno calling out his relationship with Kimmel, which the former late-night host said was the source of Kimmel's beef with him.
"It's funny, I always thought Jimmy Kimmel was the (late night) guy that I was going to be close to," Leno said. "We have similar blue-collar, Italian roots -- but he chose to go after me so he could get into the whole Howard Stern camp and never really understood what it was all about. ... I think he's talented, I think he's funny, but he's got a mean streak and I think that's the reason he's in third place and I think that people sense that."
Stern, however, contends that Kimmel's bad blood with the former host stems from Kimmel's noted admiration for David Letterman.
"Jimmy loved Letterman and didn’t like when Jay plotted against him [to become the host of The Tonight Show in 1992]," Stern claimed.
Kimmel has, in fact, been open about idolizing 68-year-old Letterman. "Not only did I learn how to do everything from Dave, the reason I have this show is because the executives at ABC saw me when I was a guest on Dave's show -- and hired me to host this show," he shared in a tearful tribute to the comedian in May, on the eve of his final Late Show. "So I want to thank Dave and his writers and producers."
Clearly, the beef between Leno and Stern isn't going anywhere. The shock jack slammed Leno's new gig as the host of CNBC's new car program, Jay Leno's Garage.
"Jay likes cars because cars can't tell him he sucks," Stern said.