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Jay Leno Is Glad He's Not in "So Serious" Late Night Anymore

He thinks he had it easier than current hosts

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Lindsay MacDonald

Jay Lenois kind of a god as far as late night television is concerned, and even though he's gotten out of the game, he still pays attention to the players.

According to Leno, he doesn't have a favorite Late Night host, but he does have some select praise for a few of them. "Jimmy Fallon is a good friend of mine, [Jimmy] Kimmel is funny, and Seth Meyers, I think, probably does the best monologues. Jimmy Fallon's a great mimic!" Leno told TV Guide at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.

We also asked Leno for his take on the state of current Late Night TV, and he admitted that it's changed quite a bit since he was hosting The Tonight Show.

"I was fortunate," Leno said. "I did it at a time when Bush was dumb and Clinton was horny, and it was pretty easy. I mean, I didn't question anybody's motive, I just questioned their judgement... Now everything is so serious, and if you do a joke about this, well, you're racist or you're anti-this or anti-that, so it's difficult now."

He also alluded to Presidents Bush and Obama being "in on the joke," which made it easier to mock them without them feeling like he was questioning their patriotism. These days, making fun of the president isn't exactly an easy thing to do without immediately being labeled "fake news."

Jay Leno's Garage airs Thursdays at 10/9c on CNBC.

Jay Leno, Jay Leno's Garage

Jay Leno, Jay Leno's Garage

NBCUniversal, Trae Patton/NBCUniversal