After the Emmy nominations came out yesterday morning, the big news was that The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien snagged 4 Emmy nominations despite the fact that NBC jettisoned the host and replaced him with Jay Leno, who was passed over for the awards. Conan O’Brien tweeted an amusing response to this (“Congrats to my staff on 4 Emmy nominations. This bodes well for the future of The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.”), and last night Leno had jokes of his own, although he made no mention of O’Brien by name.
“The good news is The Tonight Show got four Emmy nominations,” Leno said at the top of his monologue. “The bad news is I didn’t get a one of them!” That’s the closest he came to acknowledging his successor/predecessor. Instead, his quips focused on the fact that he has never been one of Emmy’s favorites – his Tonight Show was last nominated in 2005, and he hasn’t won since 1995. Leno explained that his motto was “There’s no ‘me’ in Emmy.”
He did mention his other late-night rival, however. “Dave Letterman didn’t get nominated either,” he noted. “I guess Dave and I will be watching the Emmys at Oprah’s house this year,” a reference to the Super Bowl commercial the they did together back in January.
The subject didn’t come up again until he got to his second guest, the lovely and talented Jane Lynch of Glee. After she explained how she found out about her nomination, Leno explained how the conversation with his agent usually goes on Emmy day. “The phone rings, I wake up. ‘Hello?’ ‘You got nothing.'”
Lynch also joked that right after her appearance, she’d be heading to the gay and lesbian film festival Outfest to get an award ‘for being gay.’ That led Leno to rub that famous chin in thought, musing “If I became gay, I could get an award?” while looking at his bandleader Rickey Minor suggestively.
Incidentally, Leno’s first two guests last night, Lynch and Steve Carell of The Office, are old friends, are co-stars in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and are both nominated for Emmys in the same category, and of course, Leno put the obligatory ‘who will win?’ question to the two of them while they were both on the panel, and Carell answered without hesitation. “Glee.” Does anyone doubt that he’s right?