The Tonight Show Controversy
Jay: I haven't. No, I haven't.
Oprah: Did you want to pick up the phone?
Jay: Yeah, but it didn't seem appropriate.
Jay: I don't know. Maybe let things cool down and maybe we'll talk.
Oprah: Were any of the things he said about you hurtful?
Jay: They were jokes, and that's okay.
Oprah: So jokes don't hurt you?
Jay: It's what we do, you know? It's like being a fighter and saying, "When you got punched in the head, did it hurt?" "Well, yeah." But you're a fighter. That's what you do.
Oprah: So when you in the privacy of your own thoughts, your own home, you go home with Mavis at the end of the day, you didn't say, "You know, I thought that was kind of rotten," or "I thought that went a little too far."
Jay: Well, you know, the odd thing is, it's all your conscience. If you think you played a role in it somehow, then you get a guilty conscience and you feel bad. But nowhere in my wildest dreams did I think that they would ask me to go back. It just didn't seem logical.
Oprah: When they asked you to go back, did you ever at any time think, "Well, if I go back, I'm taking away Conan's dream"?
Jay: No because, again, this is an affiliate decision. The affiliates felt the ratings were low. This was the first time in the 60-year history of The Tonight Show that The Tonight Show would have lost money. And that's what it comes down to. It's really just a matter of dollars and cents. If the numbers had been there, they wouldn't have asked me. And they only asked me after Conan turned down moving it back half an hour.