Credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBC; BYRON COHEN/ABC

It’s a sign of the times: talk-show hosts without writers helping out the competition. Thursday night it was NBC’s Jay Leno and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel, swapping berths on one another’s sofas.

When Kimmel, 40, played guest on Leno’s Tonight Show, the two carped about life without scribes, with Kimmel asking Leno, 57: “Will you write some jokes for me? Because it seems like you’ve got plenty.” Demurring, Leno said, “I can’t. That’s illegal.”

On the topic of finding guests who will cross a picket line, Kimmel said, “Instead of movie stars, you get, you know, the cast of Celebrity Fat Club 5 on the show.”

Leno, however, found a silver lining. “You don’t have to see a lot of stupid movies and pretend they’re good,” he said of his usual routine. Replied Kimmel: “Yes, that is true. But you have to see stupid reality shows and pretend they’re good.”

On Jimmy Kimmel Live, Leno chided his host for not riding motorcycles. Kimmel got in his digs, too. Toting up the hours Leno must spend at his show and on the road performing live, Kimmel asked, “When do you see your wife? Do you even sleep in the same bed with Mavis?”

Toward the end of the show, Leno, shaking Kimmel’s hand, suggested, “We should do this more often.” “We can do this every week,” Kimmel told him. “We may have to.” –Stephen M. SilvermanPhoto: Paul Drinkwater/NBC; BYRON COHEN/ABC