One of the bitterest and most famous feuds in TV history could soon come to an end. Uproxx is reporting that almost a year ago David Letterman reached out to his arch-rival Jay Leno, inviting the former Tonight Show host on to The Late Show before Letterman retires in May. “Leno and Letterman were actually friends who had great chemistry when they shared the stage on Letterman’s old NBC Late Night show. Because of that long history and the propensity for old men to think about their legacies as they head toward retirement, it seemed like a matter of time before Leno came on Letterman’s show to throw dirt on the greatest rivalry in television history.”
Uproxx cites TV Insider, which has a source inside Letterman’s staff claiming that the show approached Leno around the time that he was finishing up at The Tonight Show (the second time). If Leno agrees to appear on Letterman’s show, the event will be sure to get the outgoing Letterman a huge ratings hit. Is that why Leno has been sitting on this invite for a year? Is he going to say ‘no’ just to spite his former friend? In fact, Leno says he is unaware of the offer; let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. It’s likely the discussion was between producers, sort of like the backroom work done by low-ranking diplomats at high-profile summits. I’m also wondering if the rumor is timed to coincide with Sunday’s Superbowl: perhaps there will be a repeat of the surprise sight of the two on the same couch … with Oprah refereeing.