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Video: Kanye West to Jay Leno: ‘It was rude’

  1. Closed captioning of: Kanye West to Jay Leno: ‘It was rude’

    >> thank you very much.

    >>> jay leno kicked off in primetime last night here on nbc , and as promised, jay had the audience laughing as he poked fun at current events. but the moment that's getting the most attention this morning was one that brought no laughter at all, just silence. here's nbc 's lee cowan.

    >> your host, jay leno !

    >> reporter: after three months of buildup, the stage was jay leno 's again.

    >> this is not another annoying promo. this is the actual show.

    >> reporter: he said he wanted his primetime experiment to be topical, and it was.

    >> it's been a busy week for president obama. i understand he's having kanye west and taylor swift to the white house for a root beer summit.

    >> reporter: he didn't waste any time getting to the pop culture headline of the day, kanye west 's outburst at the " video music awards ."

    >> taylor, i'm really happy for you. i'm going to let you finish. but beyonce had one of the best videos of all time.

    >> reporter: after that outburst, kanye 's scheduled appearance on leno's show made opening night even more timely.

    >> it was rude, very, you know. i would like to apologize to her in person.

    >> reporter: while the apology wasn't necessarily a surprise, jay leno 's next question about kanye 's recently deceased mother was.

    >> let me ask you something. i was fortunate enough to meet your mom and talk with your mom a number of years ago. what do you think she would have said about this?

    >> reporter: the studio fell silent.

    >> that was priceless stuff. that was the kind of hugh grant moment that we'll remember for a long time.

    >> reporter: especially for the live studio audience.

    >> it was very awkward. but i thought that jay asked a fantastic question.

    >> reporter: up until that moment, jay's new show had spent the hour poking fun at itself.

    >> i mean, is your staff aware that i have not been on television for 11 years?

    >> reporter: first guest, jerry seinfeld , hinted jay could have done better on the celebrity front. and then there was oprah, sort of.

    >> i'm on that new jay leno show.

    >> really?

    >> yes.

    >> what time is that on?

    >> reporter: in the end, it wasn't a new jay, it was just the jay most remember.

    >> and while we're off the government started this program to give people money for their old cars, i made $5 billion.

    >> reporter: beyond laughter, it was the silence from his opening night that his fans might remember most. for "today," lee cowan, nbc news, los angeles .

    >> wow. jay made us laugh as well as cry. i mean, really, that's pretty intense moment for kanye west , don't you think?

    >> no question. and great timing to have someone like that on your first show. so well done on all fronts.

    >> that's right.

    >> and i guess you have to compliment kanye for keeping the appointment. he could have easily said no, i'm not going to be there tonight.

updated 9/15/2009 12:51:51 PM ET 2009-09-15T16:51:51

Kanye West used Jay Leno’s prime-time debut Monday to offer another apology for ruining Taylor Swift’s night at the MTV Video Music Awards and to say he’s going to take some time off for reflection.

West said he knew he was wrong the moment he handed the microphone back to Swift, when he was bathed in boos. He had interrupted Swift on Sunday night as she accepted a best female video award for “You Belong With Me,” arguing that Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” was more deserving.

“It was rude, period,” West said. He posted a second apology to Swift on his blog on Monday, and told Leno he wanted to apologize to the country music star in person.

West took a long pause when Leno asked what his mother would have said about the incident. West was very close to his mother, Donda, who died in November 2007. He said yes when Leno asked whether his mother would have given him a lecture.

“So many celebrities, they never take the time off,” he said. “I’ve never taken the time off to really — you know, just music after music and tour after tour. I’m just ashamed that my hurt caused someone else’s hurt. My dream of what awards shows are supposed to be, ’cause, and I don’t try to justify it because I was just in the wrong. That’s period. But I need to, after this, take some time off and just analyze how I’m going to make it through the rest of this life, how I’m going to improve.”

He had already been set to perform on Leno’s first prime-time show on NBC, but asked for time to talk with the controversy swirling. It may have been a stroke of luck for Leno, whose daily prime-time comedy show already was the most buzzed-about fall debut. With West, it’s likely to draw even more curious viewers.

It was reminiscent of when Hugh Grant appeared on the “Tonight” show with Leno in 1995 to make amends after being arrested with a prostitute — only this time there weren’t many laughs. The Grant appearance was a springboard for Leno to eclipse David Letterman in the ratings.

Leno was quick to reference the West incident with one of his first monologue jokes Monday, saying President Barack Obama had invited West and the 19-year-old Swift for a “root beer summit.”

West has gotten in trouble before with ill-timed comments, raising scenes after losing awards himself at the VMAs, the Grammys and the American Music Awards. In 2005, West said during a telethon after Hurricane Katrina that President George W. Bush “doesn’t care about black people.”

Ratings up, but some fans condemn rapper
MTV wasn’t complaining on Monday. Televised on MTV, MTV2 and VH1 simultaneously on Sunday, the awards show was seen by 11 million people, according to Nielsen Media Research. That’s up 21 percent over last year and was the most-watched Video Music Awards since 2002.

A corporate partner of MTV jumped to take advantage of it. Comedy Central, like MTV owned by Viacom Inc., planned to rerun four times in a row on Tuesday a “South Park” episode that poked fun at West’s ego.

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West spoke on Leno’s show before performing with Jay-Z and Rihanna on Jay-Z’s song “Run This Town.”

Some of West’s fans who were waiting to see the performance on Leno’s show condemned the rapper.

“I thought that was very disrespectful,” said Oscar Velasquez, 21, of Valley Village, Calif. “He’s a great musician, but as a person, he’s not a role model or anything. And I think that not only are his fans disappointed but his mom would be disappointed. I don’t think she raised him like that, to be like that. I think he needs to remember that.”

Velasquez said he’d remained a fan of West’s after previous awards show blowups, but, “I’m getting kind of tired of it. There comes to a point where you know what? That’s how you are, but you can change. And he needs to change.”

Errimis Pullett, 27, of San Diego, said he planned to boo West.

He said he’d dismissed West’s previous award show tantrums by telling himself, “’Oh, he’s kind of misunderstood. He’s a little egotistical.’ But last night, just jumping in front of Taylor Swift and stealing her moment, that was ridiculous. I can’t support or defend that. I’m a huge fan, bought all his CDs. ... I’m glad Beyonce stepped in and let her finish her speech up.”

This time, Pullett said, “he looked more like a bully.”

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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