The former late-night host says Kimmel's 'mean-based' comedy is affecting ratings

By Megan Daley
August 13, 2015 at 09:52 PM EDT
Rich Fury/Invision/AP
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Jay Leno may no longer be in the late-night game, but the former Tonight Show host had a few thoughts to share on the topic during a recent interview with TV Insider.

Leno – whose series Jay Leno’s Garage premieres on CNBC this fall – told the news outlet when asked if he tuned into the current late-night line-up that he liked Seth Meyers as well as Jimmy Fallon, and thinks that soon-to-be Late Show host Stephen Colbert will be “really good.” 

“He’s really clever. I don’t know him well. The right likes to paint him as a tool of the left, but the man teaches Sunday school,” Leno said of Colbert. “He’s a pretty conservative guy from what I can see. But he’s a truly nice guy and decent human being.”

But when it came to Jimmy Kimmel, Leno believes the late-night host’s “mean-based” humor could be impacting Jimmy Kimmel Live‘s ratings.

“The most element you can have in doing a late night show is kindness. Because the show makes you arrogant. I think that’s Jimmy Kimmel’s problem,” Leno said of the host, who he’s had some beef with in the past. “I think he’s a talented guy. I think he’s funny. But he has a mean streak, and it comes across. He does this thing where he takes Halloween candy from kids and the kids cry. What am I missing here? It is funny I guess, but it’s mean-based. I think that’s why he’s not higher in the ratings.“

To read the full interview, head over to TV Insider

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