On today’s edition of KCRW’s The Treatment with Elvis Mitchell, New York Times reporter and author Bill Carter expounded with trademark expertise on a subject he knows so well: the behind-the-scenes machinations of late night talk show hosts.

Carter suggested that the real culprit with regards to the Jay Leno-Conan O’Brien debacle is the way all comedians are addicted to the cocaine-like rush of performing in front of daily live audiences. He paints this picture of Jay:

“Leno has done this 46, 48 weeks a year, and then he does 180 stand-up dates on top of that. Who does that? And that’s why it’s kind of interesting when people say, ‘Jay manipulated this situation’, or, ‘He’s the villain.’ I don’t see it that way. He’s just a mono-maniac. He has one thing he wants to do in life, which is appear on television and tell jokes, every single night. And he will do anything to do that.”

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