The 8 Biggest Behind-the-Scenes Diva Stories From a New 'Tonight Show' Book
It's no shocker that celebs can be very different backstage at a late-night talk show than they are on the air.
But even if you aren't surprised by the diva antics detailed in a new book by a former producer for The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, you'll still be entertained by the examples laid out. Dave Berg, who was hired as a segment producer by Leno in 1992, dishes up helpings of celeb dirt and on-set scoop in Behind the Curtain: An Insider's View of Jay Leno's Tonight Show, available from Pelican Publishing on June 30.
Jessica Simpson, Eddie Murphy, Christian Bale, Jesse Jackson, Quentin Tarantino, Teri Hatcher, Bill Clinton, Howard Stern, Kobe Bryant, Dr. Phil, Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, Dennis Rodman (who earns his own chapter), John F. Kennedy Jr., and Shirley MacLaine are among the famous names found in the book, which includes a foreword by Leno. "On the pages that follow, Dave has written about his experiences at the show as well as his thoughts about what it all meant," Leno writes. "To be honest, I haven't read it. I'll read it when everyone else does. Who knows, I might even disagree with some of his points. … But I trust Dave, and I'm certain he'll do right by the show."
Among the juiciest tidbits in the book:
1. The prize for the biggest Tonight Show guest diva was a tossup between Desperate Housewives star Teri Hatcher and pop star Jessica Simpson. Berg recalls a Hatcher rep asked for a Louis Vuitton bag when the actress was bumped from the show in March 2009 so President Obama could become the first sitting POTUS to appear on a late-night talk show; Hatcher got an apology and a bouquet of flowers.
"I called her Teri One and Teri Two, though not to her face," Berg writes of working with the "complicated" Hatcher. "Teri One was charming, smart, witty, and flirtatious. Terri Two was moody. She would call me late the night before her scheduled appearance, scream at me for not having better ideas, and then hang up. The next day, she would come to the show as Teri One, acting as if nothing had ever happened."
Simpson, meanwhile, demanded the show pay for her hair and makeup — which would have cost $18,000 — if she were to appear. Leno and company refused.