Tonight Show staff led him to stop making jokes about transgender people.The former Tonight Show host was a guest on Bill Maher’s latest episode of Maher’s podcast, Club Random.

As the pair exchanged stories from Leno’s time hosting late-night shows, Maher described the 72-year-old as, “a victim of the terrible last viable prejudice in America: ageism.” “You have this idea in your head that you have to go out to pasture,” Maher elaborated. “As I talk to you now, you’re exactly the same guy who was there then, so I don’t think your brain is diminished.”In response, Leno accredited his “low self-esteem” as his “key to success.” He continued by saying he believes that, “when you don’t think you’re the smartest person in the room, you shut up and you listen.”The comedian discussed how he hired a trustworthy crew for his talk show, so he could be held accountable on episodes on the Tonight Show.“We had the same crew for 22 years.

When they would tell me the show sucked, I would go, ‘Why’d it suck?’ And they’d tell me why it sucked.” Leno highlighted his theory that “anybody can pull the cord and stop the train.” Recalling a story that resonated with him, Leno shared, “One time we had a guy in the basement who I didn’t know.