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Dave, Jay: Show guest appearances next?

David Letterman, Oprah Winfrey and Jay Leno, record

David Letterman, Oprah Winfrey and Jay Leno, record a commercial that aired during the broadcast of the NFL Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010. Photo Credit: CBS

 

 

   With the Great Late Night Host War of 2010 now one for the history books, let's look to the next twist in this saga: Howabout a guest appearances on each other's shows?

  For years, Jay Leno mused about the possibility of appearing on David Letterman's show. Dave has never  mused about such a possibility.

  Now, all is changed.

  That last night's ad was brilliant theater goes without saying; that last night's Oprah summit  generated more chatter than any  ad in recent Super Bowl history is something else that goes without saying. 

  And the last thing that goes without saying - Letterman's idea to bring Leno into his big Super Bowl moment was stunningly gracioius, given all the bile flung the last few weeks, while Leno's agreement to appear was the same. This was one of those rare "win/wins," without any evidence of downside or backlash or blowback.

  (To think it was almost scuttled: last week the website FTVLive sent out an all-points bulletin that the Sullivan theater was in lock-down to accomodate a super-secret guest; who was this guest, FTV wondered? Who indeed.)

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 So back to my question with another question: Is it possible both Jay and Dave agreed to mutual appearances, with Jay on "Late Show" and Dave on "Tonight." No reason for either to hop planes - though that would be preferable. Even a Skype appearance would generate huge atttention.

  Could this happen? I suspect it could. Jay was gracious and smart to do this ad, but he is also as shrewd as anyone who has ever hosted a TV show (ask Conan about that.) I would imagine that he is expecting some sort of  payback down the road, and what sort of payback would be worth a year of headlines and goodwill? 

  Dave on "Tonight" could be another Hugh Grant moment. Could be and could confer good will on Leno just as he battles his way back into the public's good graces.

  The payoff for Letterman would be huge too. He'd look magnanimous, generous - a guy you can count on. Best of all, he'd reinforce his image as King of Late Night. Kings every now and then should display magnanimity. 

  So: I'm liking the possibility of a real Letterman/Leno summit. Are Dave and Jay?

 
 
 

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