Is Jay Leno retiring from The Tonight Show? There are some rumblings in this regard. The Hollywood Reporter is citing two separate sources that reportedly have confirmed that NBC will announce in May that the long time host of The Tonight Show is stepping down.
According to these reports Jimmy Fallon will be Leno’s successor as the host of the long running late night show. Of course, at this point no one is confirming any of this news. Leno’s representatives have declined to speculate in a statement, “we do not speculate on rumor.”
Jay Leno has been hosting The Tonight Show since 1992 when he took over host duties from the legendary comedian Johnny Carson. There was a brief interruption in 2009, but Leno returned to his role in 2010.
Leno started his involvement with The Tonight Show in 1987, when he was the usual substitute for Johnny Carson, finally when Carson retired, Leno took over, which started his feud with fellow talk show host David Letterman, who many had expected would take over for Carson, since he had a long running show of himself, Late Night with David Letterman, which he had been hosting since 1982.
In 2004 Leno agreed to a contract with NBC, which would keep him in his position until 2009, at the same time Conan O’Brien, another late night host also signed a contract with NBC, which would make him Leno’s successor after his contract expired in 2009.
At this time, Leno continued to be the most popular late night host, which led to speculation that he would start a show of his own instead of retiring. When Leno retired on May 29, 2009 Conan O’Brien took over on June 1, 2009.
On September of 2009, The Jay Leno Show aired for the first time. Neither he nor O’Brien did well on their roles and a conflict in scheduling resulted in O’Brien leaving the network and Leno returning to The Tonight Show.
O’Brien now has his own show ‘Conan’ on TBS.
The Tonight Show is the longest currently running regularly scheduled entertainment program in the US. It is also the third longest running show on NBC, Meet The Press and the Today show are the other two.
If Jay Leno is retiring, will Jimmy Fallon be as successful in the post?