Rob Burnett, the producer of CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman," told the Los Angeles Times Leno traveled unannounced to New York last Tuesday. Leno wore a hooded sweatshirt, sunglasses and a fake mustache to avoid attention when he arrived at the Ed Sullivan Theater, where Letterman's show is produced.
That's where the ad -- a brief scene depicting Letterman, Winfrey and Leno watching the Super Bowl together and, evidently uncomfortable -- was filmed.
"We wanted desperately to keep this a secret," Burnett told the Times.
The newspaper said the only other CBS official besides Burnett who knew the plan was Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves. Leno's executive producer, Debbie Vickers, NBC Universal Television Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin and NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker also knew what was going on, the Times said.
Letterman wrote the script for the ad and Winfrey agreed to do it when he pitched it to her, the report said. Leno agreed a short time later to go along with the gag.
Burnett said he thought Leno simply saw the ad as "a funny piece to be doing on the Super Bowl" and the only thing Letterman cared about was: "Is it funny?"