William Knoedelseder is the autor of “I’m Dying Up Here” one of the best books of the last few years about the huge changes in stand=up comedy. The book is known for, among other things, containing one of the fullest treatments of the onetime close personal friendship of David Letterman and Jay Leno, when both were struggling young comics in Mitzi Shore’s Comedy Store in Los Angeles.
I asked Knoedelseder for his thoughts on the possibility of a Letterman/Leno reunion before Letterman’s signing off on Wednesday.
“I doubt that Jay will be on, however much he might be willing to do it. But unless they’ve spent time together recently talking things out and reaching some place of forgiveness over their falling out in the early 1990’s, I think Dave would be too wary to give Jay a forum on his last show. I also think it would be an inappropriate format for such a rapprochement, too short and confined to result in anything real. But a one-or-two hour documentary with the two of them reminiscing about their early friendship, hashing out their differences over the ‘Tonight Show’ succession and comparing their experiences with their competing shows–that would be something to see.”
– Jeff Simon