Howard Stern Says NBC Reprimanded Him for Jay Leno Dig

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The late-night battle got ugly in 2010.
Howard Stern has maintained an uncharacteristically low profile as the face of gentility on this season’s America’s Got Talent.

But, as the end of this summer TV season draws near, the longtime provocative radio host — who calls himself the King of All Media — is pressing some familiar buttons.

NBC, which broadcasts AGT – Stern is in his first season on the show — has slapped the hands of the shock jock, for personally attacking one of NBC’s biggest stars, Jay Leno, who has hosted The Tonight Show for almost 20 years.

What did Howard say about Jay?

Stern called Leno a “spineless maggot” on his satellite radio show recently — after layoffs rattled through the Tonight Show staff this month.

“I got a threatening kind of comment from one of the executives,” Stern said on his radio show last week. “I said, ‘Do not tell me to not talk about Jay Leno. I will f—ing 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. F— Jay!”

Leno and Stern have a long history of acrimony.

Stern has criticized Leno on his talk show for years — alleging numerous times that Leno steals ideas and staff from Stern’s show.

The most well-known defection was Stern Show favorite “Stuttering” John Melendez, who was hired as the Tonight Show announcer. He held that job for five years — before eventually being cut back to writing for Leno’s show.

Although Stern — who was fined more than $1 million by the Federal Communications Commissions earlier in his career for obscenity violations — is well known for R-rated humor, he has been surprisingly toned-down in this season of AGT.