Jerry Seinfeld on Leno, O'Brien Shake-Up: What Did NBC Do to Conan?

Jay's buddy talks about the Peacock network's choice to switch up its schedule

By Megan Masters Jan 11, 2010 5:30 AMTags
Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, The Tonight ShowNBC/Chris Haston

Who does Jerry Seinfeld side with: Jay Leno or Conan O'Brien?

Leno's longtime friend and supporter took the stage at NBC's winter Television Critics Association event to promote his new show, The Marriage Ref, and wouldn't you know, the topic turned to the time-slot switcheroo heard around the world.

"This was the right idea at the wrong time," the funnyman said when reporters inquired about NBC's experimental Jay Leno Show. "It was not a bad idea, and I'm proud of NBC that they had to guts to try something so different and original.

"Now you go on and do something else. That's show business, you just have to try things."

And if he were in Conan's shoes right now?

"What did the network do to Conan? I don't think anyone's preventing people from watching Conan. He's there. In my business, I'm a stand-up comic—there are no rules," Seinfeld said.

Before you think he's standing by his buddy, the stand-up went on to explain his take on the biz: "Once they give you the cameras it's on you. So, I can't blame NBC for having to move things around. Conan has a chance to destroy everybody. Go ahead. You're out there. Take it. I don't think anyone's done anything to Conan."

In fact, Jerry's crossing his fingers for a late-night lineup of days past. "I hope he stays. I think he's terrific," he said. "That was a great combo. Jay and Conan work great. They should keep them."

So, in closing—and with one more tiny plug for his new reality series—Seinfeld laughed: "There are no rules in show business. There's no refs."


Follow Kristin Dos Santos on Twitter, @kristinalert.