Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell might as well come out as a couple at this point. They fight like a married pair.
You get the feeling that the insults are less serious than celebrity gossip that Britney Spears will actually be joining Cowell as an American Idol judge.
During a recent press junket to promote the launch of E! News in Canada, Seacrest acknowledged that Idol's ratings, while still atop the Nielsen Ratings, had slipped last season - and jokingly blamed Simon for the significant slump.
"Well, the knee-jerk reaction would be Simon," Seacrest said. "Clearly there's an over-saturation of his character."
Seacrest's ribbing was nothing if not good-natured, of course. And the host who crowned Jordin Sparks as this year's champion dialed up his British pal on his radio show yesterday.
"Everything good goes to you," Seacrest told his English friend, endangering the chances that Simon would introduce him to hot countrywomen Lucy Pinder and Michelle Marsh. "If there's any hiccup along the way, we are obligated to blame you. You want the credit, you get the blame."
"When I'm allowed more airtime," Cowell countered, "we get 34 million viewers. When I say nothing and you're talking, we get 12 million less."
"There's a little bit of an ego getting out of control with you," Seacrest shot back. Cowell's solution to drive ratings for season seven? "Let us talk more. When I say us, I mean me."
And so it went, two buddies joking like Paul Sculfor and Victoria Beckham re-living the past.
In the end, Seacrest, who recently performed a widely praised comedic cameo in the film Knocked Up, offered the final straw. "I know you're upset they didn't ask you to be in Knocked Up," he told the judge. "It's okay that [director] Judd Apatow didn't call you. You can't be everywhere all the time. You're one old man!"