Although Jay Leno won back The Tonight Show, when it comes to public appearances, Team Coco won last weekend. On May 1, Leno performed at the media-drenched White House Correspondents’ Dinner. He rushed through tepid jokes (on John Edwards: ”Ooh, there’s something people [haven’t] seen before — a lawyer screwing people”), and the usually unflappable comedian seemed irritated.
By contrast, the next night, Conan O’Brien didn’t break a sweat in front of the 60 Minutes cameras. The red-bearded comedian, whose default mode is zany-manic, was calm and bitter-free (”I didn’t get screwed”) while still getting in sly digs at Leno: ”I sleep well…. I hope he’s happy with his decision.” O’Brien’s interview attracted almost 2 million more viewers than the previous week’s 60 Minutes did. Maybe the next thing Jay should grab is Andy Rooney‘s job.