Although the rumors have been swirling for weeks, it’s now a fact that Jay Leno will retire his position as host for NBC’s “Tonight Show” in Spring, 2014 and Jimmy Fallon will take over the seat but in New York and not Burbank, which is where it started out with Johnny Carson when it first premiered in 1954.
Leno’s statement didn’t sound bitter at all either considering he wasn’t that keen on the idea of a semi-forced retirement:
Congratulations, Jimmy. 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 response, Fallon said:
I’m really excited to host a show that starts today instead of tomorrow.Jay Leno is an entertainment icon, making millions of people laugh every weeknight for more than 20 years,” Steve Burke, CEO of NBC Universal, said in a statement. “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.
I am a huge Conan fan and I wanted him to stay in the Leno’s time slot before Leno got pissy about his ratings and pulled rank, but Jimmy Fallon is definitely a great replacement and has turned out to be a really hilarious and entertaining late night host. The Roots are pretty badass too.