“If I had surrendered The Tonight Show and handed it over to somebody publicly and wished them well,” Mr., O’Brien says, referring to Mr. Leno’s on-the-air hand-off of the show to Mr. O’Brien last May, “and then… six months later. …” Mr. O’Brien adds, referring to Mr. Leno’s willingness to return to the show.
“But that’s me, you know,” Mr. O’Brien says. “Everyone’s got their own, you know, way of doing things.”
And some ways of doing things are backstabbier than others.
When asked if he believes that Mr. Leno may have lobbied to regain the show, Mr. O’Brien says simply, “I donâ€™t know,” but he adds, “We’re all adults. We don’t take orders from the government.”
More tellingly, he says of Mr. Leno’s decision to come back to the show: “He went and took that show back and I think in a similar situation, if roles had been reversed, I know– I know me, I wouldn’t have done that,” Mr. O’Brien says.
The 60 Minutes interview airs Sunday at 7 p.m.