Looking at the Best Late Night Appearances By Other Late Night Hosts

Before he took over The Tonight Show, Jay Leno was famously one of the best guests on Late Night with David Letterman. Leno intuitively knew what Letterman needed from a guest – he was funny and prolific, making it easy on his host. For that reason, late night hosts make excellent guests, and with so many new shows popping up, there are even more opportunities for late night hosts to mix. Here’s a look at some of the best late night appearances by other late night hosts, from David Letterman on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show to a baby Jimmy Fallon dropping by Conan’s Late Night.

It’s well-known that Carson wanted Letterman to succeed him as host of The Tonight Show. When Leno got the job instead, Carson had Letterman on one last time to talk about the switchover.

Letterman always adored Carson, so when he took Late Night with David Letterman out to Los Angeles in 1985, he was thrilled – almost giddy – to have his late night hero grace his couch. Carson plays to Letterman’s surrealist tone, and even tells the punchline to a joke he had set up earlier on The Tonight Show.

Years later, it was Letterman’s turn to be someone’s dream guest. When Jimmy Kimmel brought his show to Brooklyn in 2012, he scored a major coup by landing his late night hero on the show, though Letterman wasn’t always as good a sport as Carson was to him back in the day.

Kimmel doesn’t make a lot of talk show appearances on other shows, but he made an exception for Leno back in 2010. In the midst of the Conan O’Brien Tonight Show chaos, Kimmel dropped by The Jay Leno Show for his now infamous takedown of Leno.

Leno, however, tends, to be a pretty good sport about on other people’s shows. Though he’s cut back on is late night appearances since his Letterman days in the 80s, he’s formed a bond with Letterman’s fellow CBS-er, Craig Ferguson. Here’s an appearance on his show in 2012, where Leno manages to tell, nearly verbatim, a joke he told on Letterman back in the 80s.

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