Jerry Seinfeld defends NBC late night

Jerry Seinfeld has waded into the discussion of NBC’s recent late-night schedule shuffles. The Hollywood Reporter quotes the comedian as calling Jay Leno’s 10 p.m. show “the right idea at the wrong time,” adding, “I’m proud that NBC had the guts to try something.”

Seinfeld also dismissed suggestions that Conan O’Brien’s Tonight Show has been mishandled by NBC. “What did the network do to him? I don’t think anyone’s preventing people from watching Conan. Once they give you the cameras, it’s on you. I can’t blame NBC for having to move things around.”

More with Jerry Seinfeld from Press Tour:
Ausiello TV: Jerry Seinfeld talks Marriage Ref


Comments (177 total) Add your comment
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  • amanda

    shut up Seinfeld. Your relevence ended with your TV show.

    • greg

      yes, and we’ve all been waiting for “amanda” to chime in.. good lord..

      • Dani P

        This reply made me giggle

      • ej it

      • Brian

        Amanda’s making more sense than Seinfeld is, Greg.

      • Chaz Winterbottom

        Ha! Hi-oooooooo!

      • Blake

        Best response ever. You go, Greg!

      • chris

        I’d much rather hear from amanda than Seinfield.

      • chase


    • bill

      nicely done greg.

    • GCL

      That’s outrageous, egregious, PREPOSTEROUS!!

    • Richard

      I agree with Amanda.

    • awesomeness supreme

      your useless amanda. seinfeld serves the world at least something. you….nothing.just useless

      • angela

        Has Friends taught you nothing. Its You’re not your…HELLO!

      • harrison

        spelling and grammar aren’t your strengths, are they? what does “seinfeld serves the world at least something” mean, anyway?

      • Mark

        It’s not “Its” it’s “It’s”

      • Barbara

        I, personally, have never been served by Seinfeld and am glad for that.

    • sdm

      Seinfeld hit the nail on the head. It shouldn’t matter who or what you put on at 10 if your good you will maintain an audience. Conan is down 3.3 mil viewers the numbers don’t lie.

      • Beli

        But Conan never had an even playing field. Leno never had a talk show on just half an hour before him. A lot of people who might watch Conan won’t because they already saw a talk show and its time for bed.

      • Mary

        I agree with Beli. Jay Leno had to build his audience after Johnny Carson retired (and I mean “stay away” retired, not “come back and throw his weight around” retired). Conan just needed some time for people to get used to him, but the network hyped up Jay’s craptastic show more than their own standard, “The Tonight Show.” He never had a chance with Jay still hanging around.

      • Rachel

        Was “Seinfeld” a ratings behemoth 7 months in, or did it need a little network faith to flourish? Conan is so funny! He deserves better than this.

      • junierizzle

        He has a show premiering on NBC, what else is he gonna say.

        Besides if Seinfeld came out now and performed the same as it did when it came out, it would’ve been cancelled after 3 episodes. And yeah “it would’ve been on you” Jerry.

      • Barbara

        That’s what pisses me off about self-serving celebrities. Everyone knows that a show that follows a popular show stands to do better than one that doesn’t. It’s when something is bad you pick up the remote. If good follows good, the remote sits on coffee table. Seinfeld is about as principled as a prostitute.

    • duane

      Thanks for weighing in, numbnuts.

    • D

      Atleast her opinion makes sense…

    • jamie


      “What’s the deal with washed up comedians? I mean, don’t they have any 16 year old girls to marry?”

    • KT

      FINALLY!!!!!!!! Someone with some knowledge spoke!!!! I more than agree with you Jerry. The rest of YOU have no idea what is going on behind the scenes. We need to realize it is NOT either Jay or Conan’s doing. So stop blaming either!!! I don’t blame either I just love what Jerry said!!!! Funny!!!

    • Barbara

      If there is ANYONE I don’t want an opinion from, it is Jerry Seinfeld. …. Have you ever noticed that some people’s opinions just don’t matter and they speak anyway????”

  • XSE Drake

    I do blame NBC for Conan’s faltering ratings. Do you think Leno would have found an audience at 1130 if Johnny Carson had moved to 10pm? No. The Carson fans would have turned off the TV at 11.

    • Ceballos


      • Gabby

        THIS x2

      • Terry

        I am a knight and I say Nee.

      • BumbledBee

        Totally Agree! Astute comment Drake.

    • Zack7

      Bingo. Leno wouldn’t have lasted three months if Carson had gone to 10:00. Conan isn’t particularly good, but Leno is worse.

      Conan, Leno, and Letterman are midgets when compared to Carson. And these losers are making the big bucks. Comedy talent level must be approaching zero.

      • Bob

        I think you are over-estimating the talent and relevance of Carson Daly.

      • Terry

        Phil Donahue should be on at 10. Followed by the Jimmy Carter & Peanut show with Achmad conducting the band. I keeel you.

      • Katie

        Bob! Too funny!

      • Kal

        I think Zack7 was talking about Johnny Carson, not Carson Daly. Hopefully.

      • Nihilistic

        I think Kal tends to literalize dripping sarcasm.

      • Chevy Chase

        I doubt that Kal knows what sarcasm is.

    • Kim R

      Exactly! If Johnny took a show at 10PM, Jay would never have lasted. Not that funny. NBC had Conan move his entire life from one coast to the other and at the last minute, pops Jay on at 10pm. Dirty pool, if you ask me.

      • Woe

        He had to move his whole life from one coast to another, and for what…a measly 100 million dollars. So sad.

      • Violet

        I’m with Woe. No disrespect, but there are a lot of people in this world for whom to feel sorry. Conan O’Brien is not one of them. He moved to a gigantic Beverly Hills mansion. And now poor Max Weinberg only gets to tour with Bruce Springsteen. Not too sad.

  • Silent Rage

    Unless they’re moving things around because they screwed up, then yeah the blame falls on them

  • Cait

    Who asked Jerry Seinfeld?

    • Maggie25

      The Hollywood Reporter it seems.

  • couchgrouch

    Jerry’s absolutely right! and those Bee Movie Juniors during 30 Rock were a delight, too!

  • geroge

    I think we should all sit down on the stained couch and ask NEWWWWWWWWWWWWMAN what he thinks

  • Maxx_Stryker

    Jerry – We loved U Man – but how many days after you prematurely ended your show (wasn’t it 1998?) that U kicked yourself in the A–? You had the gem of Hollywood sitcoms & you gave it up? I’m sure U team was a sad as your audience. Kind of like when the girl of your dreams dumps you…

    • Rob

      Your dumb.

      • jon


      • Shannon

        Ha ha. Rob, you failed.

    • Diggity

      I don’t think Jerry Seinfeld can be bothered to listen to you. He’s busy taking care of his East Hampton estate- the biggest one in East Hampton. But you are right, I’m SURE he wishes he stayed on a weekly sitcom.

  • Rich Laramore

    Shut up Jerry, Conan is getting screwed.

  • mary wilson


  • Elizabeth

    Sounds like Jerry sees a little of himself in Jay: NBC will do cartwheels for him, even if the material isn’t all that good.

  • joanne h

    To the guy that said–shut up Seinfeld. Your relevance ended with your TV show–No it did not Seinfield ia a regular on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

    • Brian

      No, he’s not a regular on Curb. But his relevance doesn’t matter, because relevant or irrelevant, he’s wrong. Conan is being screwed over.

  • Fred

    Seriously, Jerry? NBC says it’s dumping Leno’s prime-time show because it’s killing the local news. You don’t think the weak lead-in affects Conan, too? C’mon.

    • ag


  • 100prcnt

    Most of the current comedy is c r a p. That’s part of the problem. The affiliates weighing in with 30% viewer drops confirms this.

    Prediction: NBC will fail to find a winning show for the Leno vacuum time slot and the affiliates will still be whining. Leno will move back to the old time slot but there will be a struggle over the “Tonight Show” brand. Leno will get it back but NBC will pay Conan mega $ to get it and end his contract – allowing him to go cable where his less than mainstream following may allow him to be successful. Jay will work hard to get his show at the old time slot back to speed but some viewers won’t be back there either having moved on since Conan took that slot.

    Spin it however you want Jerry & NBC. This is gonna cost bigtime.

  • Ambient Lite

    Who the eff asked Jerry Seinfeld?!?

  • Atom

    Its the whole package that counts. Put Jimmy Fallon’s “Roots” on Conan’s show and it would turn it around completely. Just like Leno’s band starring Kevin Eubanks really makes his show. Give me a break, as great a guy as Max Weinberg is, he can’t hold a candle to either of the other two bands.

    The other factor? Regardless of time slots, you have to have someone who can draw better than Letterman. Leno can do that — Conan can’t. If Leno and O’brien swapped time slots, and you gave Conan a decent band, no one could touch NBC. Jimmy Fallon polishes it off. If O’brien leaves — give the current Leno timeslot to Fallon and he will pull all of the young crowd in before Leno would come on.

    • Brian


      • Ambient Lite

        I second that, fail indeed.
        Atom, Max Weinberg tours with Springsteen. I think he can hold his own.

    • Elizabeth

      The band aspect has NOTHING to do with this.

    • swthompson

      I fail to see the logic. Craig Ferguson is great without a band.

      • Monkey

        This is true. Another advantage Craig Ferguson has over the competition is that he’s an adult. Letterman, Leno, Conan and Jimmy Fallon all seem like overgrown 12 year olds.

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