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Bill Maher defends Jay Leno by likening him to Israel

Real Time host Bill Maher defended his former late-night rival Jay Leno last night during Leno’s induction into the Television Academy Hall Of Fame, which exists. As Variety’s Brian Lowry reports, Maher compared the longtime Tonight Show host to the state of Israel, saying of Leno, “He’s not perfect, but he’s held to a standard that no one else in the world is expected to live up to other than him.”

With that remark, Maher not only slipped in a little political commentary, but he also launched the new quiz sensation that is sure to sweep the nation: Which Country Does This Late-Night Host Most Resemble? Jimmy Fallon is Taiwan: He’s unthreatening, and he’s good at making funny Internet videos. Craig Ferguson is Argentina: He’s operating in a different (hemi)sphere than the rest. And Arsenio Hall is Luxembourg: You’re not even sure if he’s still around, but he is.

For his part, Leno was not so bitter. Lowry reports that Leno told the Hall Of Fame audience that he left The Tonight Show at the right time. Then Leno proceeded to “comedically riff on the notion of being a 63-year-old man who couldn’t relate to the show’s interns.” Ha, interns. Leno sure knows how to solidify a legacy. Just like Russia.

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