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Jay Leno Molts His Nice Guy Image, Ironically Calls NBC Execs ‘Snakes’

Jay Leno
Pool, Getty Images

With age comes wisdom and, sometimes, just not caring anymore. A good example is talk show veteran Jay Leno, who dropped subtlety during his opening monologue on Monday, March 18.

“You know the whole legend of St. Patrick, right?” Leno asked the studio audience. ”St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland — and then they came to the United States and became NBC executives. It’s a fascinating story.”

Leno and the NBC higher-ups haven’t been hiding their animosity for each other recently, and the New York Times reports they had issues with his jabs last month about the network’s low ratings (it fell to fifth during the all-important sweeps period).

Back on Feb. 28, Leno’s monologue included lines like, “We are behind the Spanish-language network Univision — or, as we call it here in Los Angeles, Cinco de Ratings,” “It’s so bad, ‘The Biggest Loser’ isn’t just a TV show anymore; it’s our new motto” and “It’s so bad, NBC called Manti Te’o and asked him to bring in some imaginary viewers.”

Tensions probably mounted after it became clear that the network was discussing an exit plan for Leno in hopes of bringing in the younger, hipper Jimmy Fallon.

Jay suffered some serious PR damage back in 2010 — when he snatched ‘The Tonight Show’ out from under Conan O’Brien — and he just never recovered, with “snake” being one of the milder insults hurled his way by those on Team Coco.

But if he’s bowing out soon, we think it’s time for him to go all out and tell us how he really feels. No not dishing the dish, Jay. There are rules. RULES AND STANDARDS.

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