By Ken Tucker
Updated July 30, 2020 at 04:29 PM EDT
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Tonight, Jay Leno couldn’t wait to talk about the commercial he made for The Late Show with David Letterman on his next-to-last Jay Leno Show on NBC.

“I’ll tell you the whole story right after ‘Headlines’!” he yelled as he went to his first commercial break.

In his opening monologue, Leno joked about the commercial he taped with Letterman and Oprah Winfrey. “Letterman and I hadn’t seen each other in 18 years. We’d lost touch. He found me on Facebook. He made a friend request, I accepted… Things are going so well between us, we’re going to go to the Vancouver Olympics and compete in the two-man luge.”

Later, while seated, Leno told his version of the story.

“It was Dave’s idea,” said Leno. “And when he told me — no matter what animosity there is, among comedians, a good joke is a good joke. It makes all [the hostility] go away.”

Leno told the story, now familiar from the reporting of my colleague Lynette Rice, of the comedian arriving at Letterman’s Ed Sullivan Theater in disguise. “I see Dave, we shake hands, and… it was great to see my old friend again. We talked about the old days; it was really good to see him.”

Then Leno told a joke on his bosses. “The next day an NBC executive calls and says, ‘Jay, we have a problem. We think Dave shot some kind of secret show.'”

To make a long joke short, Leno said that NBC thought the disguised figure was “President Obama… ‘President Obama did a commercial for Dave!'”

Chuckling, Leno concluded, “I wanna thank Dave. I was glad to promote his show.”

What do you think of Leno’s version of the story?

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The Tonight Show

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