In a sit-down with Playboy for its March issue, the JImmy Kimmel Live host was asked what the long-jawed funnyman meant to him, especially after he ripped Leno big-time two years ago after the latter reclaimed The Tonight Show from Conan O'Brien without so much as an apology.
Needless to say, Kimmel remains unsparing in his criticism of Jay while heaping praise on the latter's rival, David Letterman.
After acknowledging that he "loved" Leno from his early appearances on Late Night With David Letterman, even receiving a pizza box with the comedian's autograph at one point as a gift from friends, Jimmy admitted he had little mercy for his new late-night competitor.
"I don't know. I always feel bad if I hurt anybody's feelings, but I don't believe Jay Leno has actual feelings, and he doesn't seem to be that worried about other people's feelings," Kimmel told the magazine.
The ABC star then revealed that aside from doing a pretty good imitation of Leno (like the devastating one he performed on his own show two years ago at the height of the Tonight Show brouhaha), when constructing his own monologues, if he can imagine Jay telling the joke, then he won't do it—even if it's a good one.
"Strangely I don't even like talking about him anymore. The only time I think about him is when I'm asked," he said.
On the other hand, the comedian had nothing but adoration for Leno's rival.
"I should add here that Dave transcends any time slot; he is the father of comedy as we now know it," he said.
Kimmel recalled that when he had Letterman on JKL a few months back, which he called "the greatest thrill of my career," someone suggested they talk about Leno, to which Jimmy demurred.
"For me that night was about my fondness for David Letterman, and Jay Leno had nothing to do with it," noted Jimmy. "I didn't want him soiling our time together."
We're guessing Leno won't be a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live anytime soon.