Jimmy Kimmel Puts "Issues Aside," Congratulates Rival Jay Leno on "Incredible Run"

Entertainment Feb. 6, 2014 AT 5:50PM
Jimmy Kimmel and Jay Leno Jimmy Kimmel put his "issues aside" to send a message to Jay Leno on the day of his last episode of The Tonight Show Credit: Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty; Brian To/WireImage.com

Truce? As Jay Leno prepares to say goodbye to The Tonight Show with a final farewell episode on Thursday, Feb. 6, even his harshest critics -- among them, late-night rival Jimmy Kimmel -- are showing the longtime host some love.

"Issues aside, 20 years at #1 is a remarkable achievement," Kimmel tweeted a few hours before Leno's last show. "Congratulations and best wishes to @jayleno on an incredible run."

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The Jimmy Kimmel Live! host, 46, has in the past been very vocal about his dislike for Leno, who is being replaced on NBC's The Tonight Show by another Jimmy -- Saturday Night Live alum and current Late Night host Jimmy Fallon.

"I always feel bad if I hurt anybody's feelings, but I don't believe Jay Leno has actual feelings, and he doesn't seem to be that worried about other people's feelings," Kimmel told Playboy back in February 2013. He went on to say that he never tells a joke he can imagine Leno telling, "even if it's a good joke." 

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The ABC host also slammed Leno in an interview with Rolling Stone in January 2013. "As a comedian, you can't not have disdain for what he's done," he told the magazine, alluding to drama with fellow late-night stars David Letterman and Conan O'Brien. "He totally sold out. He was a master chef who opened a Burger King."

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Kimmel even went so far as to mock the host on his short-lived 2010 primetime gig, The Jay Leno Show. Appearing via satellite for a Q&A, he repeatedly brought up Leno's awkward situation with O'Brien, who was tapped to take over The Tonight Show in 2009 but then ousted a short time later.

"Listen, Jay, Conan and I have children. All you have to take care of is cars," he quipped. "I mean, we have lives to lead here. You've got $800 million, for God's sakes. Leave our shows alone."

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