ASPEN, Colo. — Accepting the AFI Star Award, Jim Carrey confided his intention to succeed Jay Leno as host of “The Tonight Show” now that his film career has peaked. That came as news to Conan O’Brien, the announced Leno successor, who was interviewing him at the Aspen Comedy Festival.
Failing this, said the straight-faced Carrey, it was his ambition to work with his two favorite directors, Billy Wilder and Otto Preminger, despite the fact that both are deceased. The comic said he was only confiding these ambitions because his audience was packed with Aspen insiders, such as Michael Eisner, Jeff Bewkes, Michael Dell, Chris Albrecht and Steve Tisch.
Carrey, who performed several impromptu showtunes from “South Pacific,” acknowledged that he had purchased a collection of “Elvis Presley’s bones” and found inspiration in them. He closed by assuring his audience that the key to success in comedy was to “let the audience feel superior to you.” In that ambition, he said, he felt totally successful.
Carrey is still shooting the sequel to “Fun With Dick and Jane,” which, he said, seemed to have been shooting for several years.