Jay Leno Leaves Tonight Show in February
We’ve heard about it for more than a year. Jay Leno is leaving the Tonight Show, but now the time is growing short. They actually announced the date. He’ll end his 22-year-long stint the night before the winter Olympics’ opening ceremonies are scheduled, on Feb. 6.
The Olympics will keep viewers occupied until Feb. 23. And when the Tonight Show returns to its regularly scheduled slot, Jimmy Fallon will most likely be at the helm.
I remember when Leno was set to take over from Johnny Carson. I liked him, but I just didn’t know if he could fill those shoes. Now I find myself feeling the same way about Jimmy Fallon. I admit, he is the best of the options out there. His humor is funny to a wider range of people; in my opinion funnier than say Letterman or Conan.
Leno will be missed. Even on the way out he made a deal with the network to be sure the Tonight Show cast and crew are to be paid until his contract officially ends in September.
The viewer’s aren’t the only ones who will miss him. NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt shared with reporters recently that he hopes Leno will “still be a presence” on the network following his departure from the Tonight Show. “We’ve been having conversations with Jay. We have various ideas. Nothing would make us happier, a la Bob Hope, to have him be part of the network.”
I think the 2 week Olympic break is a good idea. It will work as a buffer so the change is less austere. I really do think Jimmy Fallon has what it takes to carry the baton. I’d love to hear what others out there think.
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