BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – So much for a late night war.
A year after stepping down from “The Tonight Show,” Jay Leno would welcome a chance to sit down and reconnect with former late night rival David Letterman.
“I would like to do that,” he told FOX411. “But Dave doesn’t really do that. He is very talented. He is really funny. [But] Dave is kind of an odd duck. He is not really that kind of guy.”
The big-chinned comic — and star of “Jay Leno’s Garage,” coming in October on CNBC — says the two comics learned a lot from each other over the years.
“When I first saw Dave, he was awkward on stage, but a brilliant wordsmith,” Leno recalled. “He could put words together in a very clever way. When he saw me, I think he liked my ability to be reactive and loud. Dave and I couldn’t be more different.”
Leno added, “Dave was a broadcaster who worked as a comedian. I was a comedian who worked as a broadcaster… [But] we both started out together…I think we should have gone out at the same time.”
Letterman hung up his microphone after 33 years in May.
Stephen Colbert will take over “The Late Show” on CBS next month.
“I think he will be terrific,” Leno predicted. “He is really good. He is smart. He teaches Sunday school. He comes from a family of 14… He will be terrific.”
Leno, meanwhile, continues to perform more than 200 stand-up dates a year and is eager to return to television on the show he calls “my dream.”
“It’s not guys throwing tools at each other,” he said. “We aren’t building cars. There are a lot of personalities [including Francis Ford Coppola and Tim Allen] on the show. There are a lot of car guys in Hollywood that people don’t know are car guys.”
The comic appears to have no regrets about giving up the late night grind.
“You can only talk to so many Kardashians,” he joked. “After a while, the celebrity thing… When you are 40 and you are talking to 25-year-old supermodels it is sexy. When you are 65, you are the creepy old guy.”
He also isn’t interested in speculating about how his brand of comedy would stack up against the younger-skewing hosts like Colbert and Jimmy Fallon.
“Rocky Marciano never fought Muhammad Ali and you can’t pretend that they did and [predict] who would win,” he said. “You live in the time that you live in. For my time [the humor] was great. It was very political. Now it is different.”
Leno continued, “I think Jimmy is doing a great job. But it is music parodies and stuff we didn’t do. I couldn’t do that. I lived in my time. It was great fun.”
“Jay Leno’s Garage” premieres October 7 on CNBC.