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David Letterman to Jay Leno: 'Don't hang around waitin' for somebody to drop dead'

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David Letterman continued to mock Jay Leno Tuesday night, imagining the promo NBC is already running to promote his return to The Tonight Show (watch it after the jump), and reacting to Leno’s Monday night “State of the Network” speech. “Lord knows I got my own problems, really, I got my own problems…. but I just can’t help myself,” Letterman said, explaining his decision to keep engaging in the latest late-night war.

His first point: “[Jay] said that we should not blame Conan for what’s going on…. And I said to myself, No one is blaming Conan.” His second point: Leno never should have gone to 10 p.m. on NBC. When you find out you’re being replaced on The Tonight Show, “You call ABC, you call Fox, you try to get my job, you leave. You don’t [Leno impersonation] ‘Yeah, okay, but I’ll be in the lobby, you know, if you need me.’ You don’t hang around. You go across the street and you punish NBC and you make them eat your words…. Then Conan has a job, Jay has a job, I have a job, what’s his name, Lonnie Donegan, what’s his name, Jimmy Fallon has a job…. And Jimmy Kimmel has a job. See, that’s the way these things are supposed to work. It’s just part of evolution…. It’s an early Darwinian precept: You get fired, get another gig. Don’t hang around waitin’ for somebody to drop dead…. Well, I feel I’ve gone too far yet again tonight.”

More:

Conan O’Brien books final guests, including Tom Hanks and Will Ferrell

David Letterman: Relentlessly mocking Jay Leno is “just fun”

Jay Leno addresses his planned return to The Tonight Show, ongoing negotiations with Conan O’Brien

Quentin Tarantino to direct Conan O’Brien in Late Shift 2: The Rolling Thunder of Revenge

Ken Tucker: Late-night jokes, and why the anti-Conan, pro-Jay backlash won’t work

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