Howard Stern has been reprimanded by an NBC executive over some harsh words for Jay Leno.
The radio personality may have given America's Got Talent a much-needed boost of starpower -- but the network wasn't laughing when Stern tore into the Tonight Show host this week, calling him a "spineless maggot" on his Sirius XM Radio show.
"I got a threatening kind of comment from one of the executives," Stern told listeners on Tuesday, Aug. 21. "I was laughing my ass off. I said, 'Do not tell me to not talk about Jay Leno. I will fucking talk about Jay Leno for four hours if you tell me not to. I was done with Jay, now I'm all fired up again. Fuck Jay!"
Stern has had a longstanding feud with Leno, who himself has been biting the hand that feeds him lately, taking digs at NBC Universal and parent company Comcast for slashing the Tonight Show's budget.
“Welcome to The Tonight Show or as Comcast calls us, The Expendables,” went one recent Leno monologue opener.
According to Stern, the angry NBC executive also accused him of being uniformed about the behind-the-scenes drama at Leno's show.
"They accused me of not knowing anything about the budget cuts," Stern said. "It's pretty obvious I don't know anything about the budget cuts at NBC."
Referencing Leno's well-publicized pay cut, Stern said, "Dude, just keep it to your fucking self."
But the radio host also made sure to point out that he's had a great experience working for the network.
"I love my job on AGT, I love working for the people at NBC, they've been nothing but wonderful," Stern said, adding that his hard line on free speech is part of what makes him a great talent judge: "I don't answer to anybody. Everybody knows that. That's part of the game. And that's why I'm a great fucking judge. I will tell people if they suck."