Jay Leno’s induction to the TV Hall of Fame on Tuesday was preceded by a spirited and vaguely controversial introduction from Bill Maher, who compared the former “Tonight Show” host to a a small Middle Eastern country some of you may have heard of.
“Jay reminds me a little of Israel,” Maher said of Leno. “He isn’t perfect, but he’s held to standard I don’t think anybody in the world is expected to live up to but him.”
Maher also addressed the accusations that Leno had “stolen” Conan O’Brien’s dream by taking back the reins of the “Tonight Show” from O’Brien after a ratings drop. Despite the obvious Middle East conflict/Late Night War parallel, the host of HBO’s “Real Time” opted for a different analogy on this topic, pointing out that this was like saying Tom Cruise had robbed Maher of the lead role in “Top Gun.”