"Saturday Night Live" has entered the late-night fray, lampooning the mess involving Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien.
"SNL" opened Saturday's show with a sketch featuring cast member Bill Hader as O'Brien and Darrell Hammond as Leno, brought together on CNN's "Larry King Live." O'Brien was portrayed as somewhat humorless, while Leno needed to be cut off from automatically going into a monologue routine.
Jason Sudeikis also made a cameo as a giggling David Letterman, perpetually throwing pencils at the camera.
"SNL" is close to the late-night shuffle and not just because it shares NBC as a network. "SNL" creator Lorne Michaels was executive producer of "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" before O'Brien took over the "Tonight" show. He also produces O'Brien's replacement: "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon."
It was a relatively tame parody in comparison to the snipping that has been going on all week across late-night. Leno has generally been on the defensive, as O'Brien and Letterman have repeatedly satirized him. On Tuesday's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" on ABC, Kimmel did his entire show as a scathing impression of Leno.
But on "Weekend Update," Seth Meyers expressed more direct criticism. Defending O'Brien, he joked that the situation proved that one didn't need a subscription to Cinemax to "see someone get screwed on TV."
NBC is seeking to restore Leno to the "Tonight" show time slot at 11:35 p.m. EST, a move that O'Brien has rejected. He and the network are currently negotiating for his expected exit from "Tonight." Settlement talks continued Saturday.
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