Earlier this week, The NY Times reported that Jay Leno had upset NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt by making some jokes about the network being in fifth place. According to the story, Greenblatt emailed Leno to complain, and Leno responded by defending his right to make jokes about NBC. On last night’s show, he continue to bite the hand that feeds with a joke about NBC in his monologue:
You know the whole legend of St. Patrick, right? St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland, then they came here to the United States and became NBC executives.
Sure, it’s a typically tame, lame Leno joke, but the fact that he’s continuing to mock his bosses after Robert Greenblatt reprimanded him for it is a pretty surprising move from the noted company man. And the fact that it’s his second joke out of the gate immediately after that NY Times story was published makes it seem like Leno is taking a stand. NBC recently denied reports that they’re considering replacing Leno on The Tonight Show in 2014 with younger, hipper Jimmy Fallon. Even if those succession stories are false, I imagine the thought of replacing Leno has crossed Robert Greenblatt’s mind lately.