It was the worst kept secret in Hollywood and thank God it’s finally official. NBC is replacing Jay Leno on The Tonight Show for the second time. If you recall, Conan O’Brien succeeded Leno back in 2010 only to be ousted in a highly-publicized manner. Hopefully, Jimmy Fallon’s stab at 11:35 will yield better results. I really don’t want NBC to bring back Leno yet another time on the late night talk show.
“Jay Leno is an entertainment icon, making millions of people laugh every weeknight for more than 20 years,” said Steve Burke, Chief Executive Officer of NBCUniversal. “His long reign as the highest-rated late-night host is a testament to his work ethic and dedication to his viewers and to NBC. We are purposefully making this change when Jay is #1, just as Jay replaced Johnny Carson when he was #1. Jimmy Fallon is a unique talent and this is his time. I’m thrilled he will become the sixth host of ‘The Tonight Show’ at exactly the right moment, in conjunction with our coverage of next year’s Winter Olympic Games from Sochi, Russia.”
Even though Leno has publicly made fun of his impending ouster during his nightly monologue, he had nothing but kind words for Fallon. “Congratulations Jimmy,” Leno said in a statement. “I hope you’re as lucky as me and hold on to the job until you’re the old guy. If you need me, I’ll be at the garage.” In his usual hilarious fashion, Fallon responded, “I’m really excited to host a show that starts today instead of tomorrow.”
Clearly these two have admiration for each other and have no hard feelings. If you missed it a couple of days ago, the two filmed a video addressing the rumors of their rivalry. Check out the clip below which includes some singing and more.
Do you think Jimmy Fallon will have better luck at 11:35 than Conan O’Brien did? Do you think Jay Leno will reemerge on another talk show on another network? Sound off below.