The late night talk show wars are heating up with the announcement that ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live is moving to 11:35 PM to compete with the CBS Late Show and the NBC Tonight Show.
According to TMZ, Kimmel during a Wednesday conference call about this change made a disparaging reference to Jay Leno:
JIMMY KIMMEL: Jay Leno is not going to be able to stay on television forever, and obviously Jimmy Fallon is the heir apparent, and he’s doing a great job, so it makes sense people would talk like this. That said, you can never count Jay out. He seems to pop up just when you think he’s dead — he comes alive and he’s got a hatchet.
This was in response to a question concerning the rumor that Fallon is going to replace Leno as Tonight Show host when he finally retires.
For those missing the reference, Kimmel was likely citing the horror film series "Friday the 13th" in which killer Jason Voorhees continues to appear regardless of how many times he's previously been murdered.
As it pertains to Leno, Kimmel was likely mocking the comedian's return to the Tonight Show after having been replaced by Conan O'Brien as well as his alleged backstabbing of O'Brien and David Letterman.
To be sure, this isn't the first Leno-bashing by Kimmel.
In August, Kimmel said, "F--k him" when asked about Leno during a media talk. “People, it turns out, really don’t like Jay Leno.”
Earlier this year, Leno made a joke about Kimmel dying his hair and wearing a toupee. Kimmel struck back on his own show by doing a monologue impersonating Leno making a series of lame jokes.
With Kimmel airing at 11:35 PM beginning January 8, it seems a metaphysical certitude the late show wars have just commenced.