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January 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Positioning himself to become the anti-Larry King, Piers Morgan triggered any number of provocative responses from Howard Stern, who has taped Morgan’s second show for CNN due to air Tuesday night. (It’s set to launch tonight with Oprah Winfrey as his first guest.) According to the New York Times, when Morgan asks Stern about his preoccupation with sex on his radio show and whether Stern might be “physically impaired,” Stern replies, “I’m not sure how much you can get into this. … CNN’s a little uptight.” To which Morgan responds, “Let’s try it.” Later, he brings up Jay Leno, whom Stern has regularly assailed on his satellite radio show, but rarely with the abandon he displays on Morgan’s show. The New York Post quotes Stern as telling Morgan: “Jay is a crook. And the world knows exactly what he’s up to. He steals a tremendous amount of material. … I don’t know how he’s beaten David Letterman in the ratings. It’s beyond my comprehension. America must be filled with morons who at night lay in bed — the ones who are watching him, they must be in a coma.” Last month ABC’s late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who nailed Leno on his own show a year ago, told GQ magazine that while he was doing so, he was thinking “how disappointed Howard Stern would be with me if I didn’t take the opportunity to take it to Jay.” In the same interview, Kimmel had his own take on Leno’s ratings success: “The truth is, we have this idea that late night is about creativity and being cool, but that’s not our job. Our job is to get as many people watching the commercials in between our show. That’s the reality of it. We all think we’re pretty smart — Letterman and Conan and me — and Jay ultimately is the one that really is trying to do his job.”