'Tonight Show with Jay Leno' Marks Final Episode Date, But Is This the Last of Leno?
Come Feb. 6, Jay Leno won't be making headlines anymore. Well, at least, the headlines segment that appears on The Tonight Show. For that date marks the The Tonight Show with Jay Leno 's final episode until The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon takes over later that month.
That's not to say Leno will stop making actual headlines — after all, we've seen this news come and go already in 2004, when NBC announced that Conan O'Brien would take over The Tonight Show come 2009. (A decision that Leno began to fight come 2008.) And Leno will hardly drop out of sight after he wraps up his late night show. During this summer's Television Critics Association press tour, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said the network hopes to keep Leno in some capacity. "We'd love him to stay on NBC," he said. "Nothing would make us happier than to have him, à la Bob Hope, still be a presence on the network." (Hope had filmed several specials with NBC throughout his very long career.)
But what exactly would Leno do at NBC? It's unlikely the network would give him another late night show like 2010's disastrous The Jay Leno Show. NBC itself isn't clear on his future at the network, but "he has done an incredible job for more than two decades," Greenblatt said. "I take my hat off to him."
It's likely, however, that Leno won't put himself in the same situation he was in in 2010. After all, he's already been gracious about giving up his spot to Fallon, who has served the Late Night spot for four years, a full 12 years less than O'Brien when the red-headed host took over Tonight Show. "Congratulations Jimmy," Leno said in a statement after the news of Fallon's takeover was announced. "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."
This time around, is that where Leno will stay?