After weeks of speculation, NBC has confirmed that Jay Leno will step down as the host of “The Tonight Show” next spring.
Comedian Jimmy Fallon will replace him as the host of the popular 11:35 p.m. time slot.
“Congratulations, Jimmy. I hope you’re as lucky as me and hold on to the job until you’re an old guy,” Leno said in a statement. “If you need me, I’ll be at the garage.”
The 62-year-old has hosted the franchise for more than two decades, although not continuously.
As you may remember, this will be his second retirement from The Tonight Show. The first time he “stepped down,” handing the reigns to Conan O’Brien… it didn’t exactly stick.
Instead, late night television turned into a bitter battleground and the debacle ended with Leno pushing O’Brien out of a spot that most people feel he rightfully deserved, and off the network entirely.
Yikes. For Jimmy’s sake, here’s hoping the transition goes a little better this time around.
Here’s a duet performed by Leno and Fallon about the news: