Rapper Kanye West has revealed that his rude interruption of Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards was a publicity stunt, strategically planned to increase ratings for Mr. Leno's new weeknight talk show, which debuted at 10 p.m. Monday on NBC.
"I did it for Jay. I did it to boost Jay's ratings. I had already been booked as a musical guest, and I saw this as an opportunity to get more people to watch," Mr. West explained, swigging from a bottle of Rémy Martin.
Almost 18 million viewers tuned in to Mr. Leno's show, with more than a third in the age group that networks prize the most: those between 18 and 49 years old. When informed of Leno's great start, West leapt from his seat, yelling "That was ME, man, that was ME!"
Mr. West went on to say that the entire incident -- jumping onstage, grabbing the microphone from Swift as she accepted the Best Female Video award and declaring that Beyonce Knowles should have won -- was just an act. "Even that lame confession I made to Jay, it was FAKE!" he laughed. "And it worked, it worked, didn't it?"
"I could get an Academy Award for that one, couldn't I?" Kanye yelled, waving the bottle. Then he stopped for a moment, rubbed his beard stubble and continued "The Oscars. Hmm. I bet I can get one of those. Yeah. I can't score a VMA award, but an Oscar? I gotta work on that one."