So this is how it's going to be from now on.

Jay Leno, gearing up for a Tonight Show comeback after barely five months in exile prime time, continued to trade potshots with the man who may have been one of his harshest critics these past two weeks.

"Letterman has been hammering me every night, going after me," Leno said during Wednesday's monologue. "Hey, Kev," he added, turning to bandleader Kevin Eubanks, "you know the best way to get Letterman to ignore you?

"Marry him. He will not bother you. He won't look you in the eye...Here we go, get the ride going!"

Alas, quips about Letterman's extramarital sexcapades don't exactly equal the treatment Dave's been giving "Jay 'Big Jaw' Leno" over on CBS.

Maybe Leno should just stick to biting the hand that feeds.

"Of course this rain couldn't have come at a worse possible time," he told his L.A.-area audience Wednesday. "Today was the day NBC was supposed to burn down the studio for insurance money."

Meanwhile, over at the Tonight Show, lame-duck host Conan O'Brien continued his onslaught against the hand that's feeding him an extra portion just to go away.

"Hello, I'm Conan O'Brien, sorry if I'm a little late. I had a job interview at Lady Foot Locker," he began what will likely be his third-to-last show.

"I should have known something was up when NBC sent me that 2010 calendar that only went up to January."

He continued: "Over the past week, ratings for the Tonight Show are up by 50 percent. When NBC executives heard this they told me, 'See, you really don't fit in around here.' "

Addressing reports that his roughly $40 million exit deal has not yet been finalized because of certain monetary demands he has for his staff, O'Brien said, "At first they thought I was gullible. They said the staff would be taken to a big farm where they'd be allowed to run free forever.

"I've been having a hard time explaining this whole situation to my kids, because they're still very young," the rubberfaced funnyman added, wrapping up the portion of his monologue allotted to the denigration of NBC.

"So I had a doll made of myself—and now I can show my kids exactly where NBC touched Daddy."

A few minutes later, as an extra bird-flip to NBC, the Masturbating Bear appeared to share a stage with Conan for the first time since he left Late Night.

"Don't mime him, Andy," O'Brien warned sidekick Andy Richter. "Aren't we in enough trouble? [Sigh] Just keep it behind the podium."

(Originally published Jan. 20, 2010, at 6:30 p.m. PT)


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