By Ken Tucker
Updated September 14, 2009 at 12:00 PM EDT

A humbled Kanye West was interviewed by Jay Leno before performing on the first Jay Leno Show. West wanted to address his Taylor Swift insult at last night’s VMAs. West called Swift “a talented artist” and said it was “someone’s emotions I stepped on — it was rude.”

When Leno asked West what his late mother might have said about this controversy, West seemed either startled into speechlessness or too moved to speak. There was a long silence that became dramatic — you rarely hear such dead air on TV.

Finally, West said, “I’m ashamed” and that he wants to “take some time off and evaluate the future.” He was probably referring to his career.

Did you watch Kanye West on Jay Leno? What did you think?