If you don't have anything nice to say, get yourself a live satellite link and say it right to the bad man's face.
Hey, it worked for Jimmy Kimmel, who took time out from perfecting his crack Jay Leno impression last night to appear with the Most Hated Man in Late Night on his soon-to-be-defunct show's 10@10 feature.
Which probably should've been renamed 10 Hilarious Insults That Everyone Was Already Thinking @10 for the purposes of this particular segment.
For instance, when asked for the best prank he ever pulled, Kimmel said, "I told a guy that five years from now, 'I'm gonna give you my show,' and then when the five years came, I gave it to him and then I took it back almost instantly.
"I think he works at Fox or something now."
And that was only question No. 5.
"Ever ordered anything off the TV?" Leno, presumably thinking he had moved into safer Conan O'Brien-free territory, asked.
"Like NBC ordered your show off the TV?" Kimmel replied, who then treaded even more dangerous waters while answering a question about lap dances.
"Strippers I don't like in general, because you have this phony relationship with them for money, similar to that of when you and Conan were on the Tonight Show together passing the torch."
Providing him with yet another opening, Leno then asked for Kimmel's biggest fear.
"I fear the network will move my show to 10 o'clock," he said, imparting one final plea on the once and probably future Tonight Show host.
"Listen Jay, Conan and I have children, all you have to take care of is cars. I mean, we have lives to lead here, you've got $800 million. For God's sake, leave our shows alone."
The pile on didn't (and won't) stop there. Yesterday, the former king of late night also had the onetime queen of nice to contend with.
At HBO's Television Critics Association panel last night, Rosie O'Donnell firmly placed herself in CoCo's corner.
"I have been a big fan of Conan O'Brien," she said. "The Tonight Show is a franchise that has been 60 years with NBC, and if you're privileged enough to be asked to drive the bus, you should say, 'Thank you,' and drive it to the best of your ability, and when it's time for them to hire a new driver, you should say, 'Thank you for allowing me to drive this for as long as I did,' and pass the keys to the new guy with red hair, and not try to flatten his tires before he even gets going."
As for Leno, there's no love lost there. She thinks he should do the right thing and step aside to allow O'Brien both the time and space to shine.
"I think he's a fantastic talent and 17 years he gave to that network and they really did a disservice to him," she said of Conan. "I think shame on Jeff Zucker and really, shame on Jay Leno.
"I think he's forgotten his roots and what stand-up comedy is about, and graciousness has never been his No. 1 quality," she said, referring, no doubt, to his rejection of NBC's mid-'90s idea to have O'Donnell serve as the Joan Rivers to his Johnny Carson and fill in as the Friday night guest host of the Tonight Show.
"I think it would serve him well to think about what might happen if he were able to let go and grab on to whatever the next rung is."
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