Jimmy Kimmel Destroys Jay – Again.

Jimmy does Jay. Mercilessly.

From Kimmel’s show last night, responding to Leno’s bizarre attempt to play the martyr on Oprah.

Here’s Jimmy.

And here are the top 5 realizations America can (or should) leave this whole fascinating imbroglio with no uncertain understanding:

1. Jay Leno is a truly weird and not particularly sympathetic individual.

2. Conan O’Brien will undoubtedly be a big part of America’s late night future, only now on his own terms, and come September everyone who cares will/should be enormously grateful to NBC’s execu-failures.

3. Jimmy Kimmel is not only funny, but funny in the best possible way: which is to say, grounded in a core morality that is hugely important to him. And as with every landmark comic you can think of — Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, David Letterman  — that moral position (which may or may not include some aspects of his own personal behavior, which can be hugely flawed, I know, but most often that’s just the fixed cost of having a seethingly creative brain) is what gives his work the significance you don’t hear in, say, Jay Leno’s cheapo riffs on nothing in particular. E.g., did you know Bill Clinton is a horndog? Hey-oh! 

4. Real-life Kimmel anecdote: When ABC hired Kimmel in 02 tv crix were enormously dubious. . . right until he appeared at ABC’s upfront that spring, facing a hugely dubious audience, and absolutely killed. You could feel the atmosphere change around you. His show has had hiccups over the years, but the Jaypocalypse may be his Moment Where It All Comes Together. Just maybe.

5. R-L K A #2: He’s a human. When my pal Bill Goodykoontz was the tv crit or the Az. Republic, JK’s hometown paper, Kimmel not only remembered him whenever he saw him, but also hugged him, asked after his kids, and hung around to trade hometown gossip, sports developments, etc. for ages. And maybe that’s celebrity media manipulation 101, but still. I know Bill really well, have spent way more time with him over the years, and I don’t know his kids’ names yet. He’s got a lot of kids, for one thing.

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