Times Talk Show Hosts Dissed Each Other

Members of the talk show host society, historically, act very friendly to others in their ranks. We've witnessed the love-fests between Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres and between Jimmy Kimmel and David Letterman, to name only a couple examples. Some hosts share a mutual respect for their peers, admiring their work from afar, whereas others, like Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, share a loving history together, working alongside each other in harmony before branching off on their own. Yet, while nice is nice, nice is also a little boring, and over the years, some of the most entertaining moments on talk shows grew from animosity between talk show competitors.

Though the so-called feud between Letterman and Jay Leno may be the most iconic, it appears rather tame compared to the talk show host fights below. From long-standing vendettas to brief but fierce altercations, the following feuds between talk show hosts will live on in infamy.

Here are the times talk show hosts dissed each other.

Sucker-punching Leno

Jay Leno's best-known talk show feud might be his long-running beef with Letterman or the awkwardness he shared with Conan O'Brien, but Jimmy Kimmel might be the harshest of Leno's peers.

According to Kimmel, his negative feelings stemmed from Leno's feud with Letterman. "You have to remember how much I love David Letterman," he said to The Hollywood Reporter. "Dave was the hero and Jay was the villain." Then, when Leno turned over the reins of The Tonight Show to O'Brien only to take them back less than seven months later, the late show veteran earned another strike in Kimmel's book.

Kimmel then loaded his ammunition, dressed up as Leno, and mocked his rival host on Jimmy Kimmel Live! He continued his onslaught as a guest on The Jay Leno Show. During the "10 at 10" segment, Kimmel roasted Leno at every turn. "I told a guy that five years from now I'm gonna give you my show," he stated. "And then when the five years came I gave it to him and then I took it back almost instantly."

Though Leno told Oprah (via People) that the unprovoked attacked "sucker-punched" him, he responded with some spite of his own. "He has a mean streak, and it comes across," Leno told TV Insider of Kimmel. "This thing where he takes Halloween candy from kids and the kids cry ... It's mean-based. I think that's why he's not higher in the ratings."

Rosie and Elizabeth with differing views

The Rosie O'Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck fight on The View is well-known for good reason. Tempers were high ever since O'Donnell publicly addressed the civilian death toll in Iraq and the involvement of the US. Specifically, she said, "655,000 Iraqi civilians are dead." Then asked, "Who are the terrorists?"

For obvious reasons, this intimation got O'Donnell "in trouble." A week later, when tempers flared between the two women once more, O'Donnell asked Hasselbeck for her thoughts on the terrorist topic. "Do you believe I think our troops are terrorists, Elizabeth?" she asked. At first, Hasselbeck responded with a guarded answer, but, after O'Donnell prodded her for a direct answer, Hasselbeck demanded loudly that her co-host "defend [her] own insinuations."

Less than a week after the on-air tiff, O'Donnell was granted "an early exit from her contract" with ABC and The View, according to The Washington Post. O'Donnell mentioned that her relationship with Hasselbeck was left unmended after that fight. "I haven't spoken to her, and I probably won't, and I think it's just as well," she said in a video posted to her website at the time (via The Washington Post). "I wrote her an email, and she wrote me back, and there you have it."

Barbara Walters shoots down a star

When Barbara Walters took to Oprah to discuss her book, Audition: A Memoir, she spoke about a few of the topics covered in the autobiography. One was a decades-old affair she had with Senator Edward Brooke. Another was the topic of Star Jones' weight and weight loss.

According to Walters (via NY Magazine), Jones was "so obese she could barely walk out onto The View set." Walters also suggested that, while on The View, Jones had her co-stars hide the truth about her weight loss. "We had to lie on the set every day because [Star] said it was portion control and Pilates," Walters told Oprah and the world. "Well, we knew it wasn't portion control and Pilates," she said. "And the whole point of the program is honesty."

When Jones heard Walters' thoughts about her life choices, she responded with some harsh criticisms of her own. Speaking to Us Weekly (via TMZ), Jones said, "It is a sad day when an icon like Barbara Walters, in the sunset of her life, is reduced to publicly branding herself as an adulterer, humiliating an innocent family with accounts of her illicit affair and speaking negatively against me all for the sake of selling a book. It speaks to her true character."

Snyder gets Stern

Admittedly, Howard Stern could have made this list with several different combatants, but his exchange with Tom Snyder takes the cake because much of it played out on the air. In 1991, Snyder, a talk show legend, was filling in as a guest host for Bob Costas on Later. His guest, Stern, who then was quickly becoming one of the preeminent radio voices was already known for his controversial takes. The clash that followed was awkward and legendary.

But trouble was brewing between these two talk show hosts before they met on television, as Snyder mentioned in the interview. "You made one day of my life especially miserable," he told Stern, referencing inflammatory comments the self-proclaimed King of all Media made about him on the air. Stern responded by mocking Snyder with baby talk, to which Snyder replied, "Tommy couldn't handle the fact that Howard said that Tommy didn't like Oriental people and made fun of them and was a racist."

Later, after yelling over top of one another and accusing the other of being "out of touch," Snyder got a dig in on Stern as payback for the racist comment. Snyder set up a comparison between the deranged fan that killed actress Rebecca Schaeffer and Stern's fans, suggesting that the shock jock should be more responsible with his comments.

Sullivan vs Paar: The battle for the bands

The Ed Sullivan Show is often credited as the launching pad for The Beatles, but the first American show to put the band into the living rooms across the country was The Jack Paar Program when it played BBC-licensed footage of the Fab Four for viewers over a month earlier. According to Billboard, however, Paar did this, not only to mock the band and the fan hysteria surrounding them, but to steal his rival Sullivan's thunder.

The roots of this rivalry were from three years prior, when Sullivan made a fuss about how much he had to pay for talent compared to Paar. According to LIFE, "performers who charged thousands to appear on [Sullivan's] Sunday show ... went on Paar for only $320." This began a combative back-and-forth, which led to the two legendary talk show hosts agreeing to hold a debate live on television.

Sadly, if only for posterity's sake, that debate never took place after each claimed the other "backed out." Paar even accused Sullivan of lying on national TV, which prompted Sullivan to threaten to sue his rival over the public comments, according to the Desert Sun. In the end, The Beatles actually brought Sullivan and Paar together, according to The Washington Post, which pointed out that Paar's airing of the BBC footage served as a teaser for their upcoming Sullivan appearance. Sullivan even sent Paar a few tickets for his rival's daughter to see the band perform live.

Morgan takes on a King

When Larry King called it quits and left his prime-time slot on CNN in 2010 after nearly 7,000 programs, the network tapped Piers Morgan as the man to fill the empty slot. Three years later, Morgan was axed by CNN. While Morgan believed that his failure to reach audiences was the result of a cultural divide, King saw a different reason.

During an event called "An Evening With Larry King," the former prime-time talk show host said (via The Belfast Telegraph) that Morgan was "the antithesis of what I was ... it was all about him." He spoke of the differences between their shows, saying, "I don't berate guests and I don't make it about me. The guest isn't a prop." He then added coyly, "I understand he's back in London now."

Morgan didn't take the shots lying down. He responded via Twitter, writing, "Man who legally changed his name to 'King' has the gall to attack me for having a big ego. Way to go Larry, you graceless goon."

The View vs. The Talk

Even before The Talk premiered in October 2010, the hosts of the The View voiced complaints about this new show with such a similar format. When The Talk was advertised as a show "for and about moms," Joy Behar (above left), one of the veteran hosts from The View, took issue with the attempted distinction.

"I have news for those mothers on The Talk," she said to Parade, "We are mothers too on The View — every single one of us. So what are they talking about?" She then added a crushing blow. "And Sharon Osbourne's a role model? That's television for you! They don't want people who are normal. Train wrecks are everything."

Though most of the hosts kept quiet on the matter, Osbourne (above right) responded with some fire of her own, though it took her a few years. In 2013, while on The Arsenio Hall Show (via Newsy), the free-speaking host said, "I love Barbara Walters. The rest can go f–k themselves."

Hall and Leno: friends to enemies

According to Arsenio Hall, there was a time when he and Jay Leno were cordial. But, apparently, Leno was only friendly and complimentary to Hall's face and critical and negative behind his back. Hall didn't take these criticisms too kindly, especially from someone who, in Hall's words, was "anointed," and someone who had a "late-night silver spoon" put in his mouth.

Comparing his rise to Leno's succession of Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, Hall told EW, "I earned every drop of mine. And I'm gonna treat him like we treated the kid on the high school basketball team who was the coach's son. He was there because he was anointed too. We tried to kick his ass, and that's what I'm going to do — kick Jay's a**."

Hall also called Leno a "punk-a**." Though he apparently referred to Hall as a friend in interviews, Leno also, allegedly, perpetuated a rumor that Hall asked black celebrities to boycott The Tonight Show, a rumor that Hall found "racist and insulting."

Who's the coward with O'Reilly and Montel

In 2016, during the Republican National Convention, long-time talk show host Montel Williams was scheduled to appear on the The O'Reilly Factor with host Bill O'Reilly. According to The Hill, Williams thought the talk was to center around the American Unity Fund, which is "a conservative LGBT cause whose members include Caitlyn Jenner." When Williams appeared to do the interview, the topics had changed, so he refused it.

While on the air, O'Reilly aired out his grievances, saying that Williams "walked out in a huff ... and the producer tells me he was mad about some gay thing." He also called Williams a "coward," a word that struck a chord with the former talk show host. Williams posted a two-minute video to Periscope (via YouTube) slamming O'Reilly in response.

"The word 'coward' is usually used on people who have done most of the things that you've done, like embellishing lies about your credentials as a journalist, like the fact that your own daughter in a testimony in a court case . . . said that you dragged your ex-wife down a flight of stairs." He then compared their credentials for reference, stating, "I spent 22 years in the military, my friend, whilst you made sure you shirked your responsibility and didn't serve. You wanna talk about coward. That's what a coward truly is."