Jay Leno has played the whipping boy during NBC's Tonight Show reshuffle. (Catch up on the Leno-Conan saga here, here, and here.) But a Superbowl spot he did with Oprah and late-night rival David Letterman--who's been heavy with the anti-Leno lash--has given TV critics license to like Leno again.

As the New York Times reports, the ad was the brainchild of Letterman, and is a spoof of a 2007 ad he did with Oprah. Leno signed on eagerly--and it seems to have paid off. Gawker loved the bit, as did the Daily Beast and Kara Swisher at AllThingsDigital. Watch: