Last night, Leno bid farewell to The Tonight Show with what many considered to be a slightly sub-par show. Still, it did what it set out to do – with Jimmy Fallon as the guest, Leno officially turned over the reigns to his successor and the circle of life moves on along.
Without having to do a show every week, Leno will return to his first love - standup.
Now the only question is – what will the 63-year-old host do now that there’s a massive gap in his schedule? According to an interview Leno did recently with the LA Times, another TV show isn’t something he’s willing to try for. Instead, he’s returning to his roots.
“I've always been a stand-up comedian that had a day job,” Leno explained This is my day job. I've always been on the road every single weekend — and the week too — since I got this job. So I'm back on the road. We leave here on the 6th. The 7th I'm in Sarasota. The 8th I'm in Clearwater. The 9th I'm in Naples, Fla. The 10th I'm in Miami...”
NBC hopes that Fallon can pique the interest of those coveted Millenials.
It’s still a packed schedule for Leno, who spent 22 years, doing the weekly tonight show. When asked whether he misses the gig or whether quitting has made him unhappy, Leno kept up his unwaveringly positive attitude, saying: “I'm not unhappy. This is a great franchise, and you like to keep it No. 1. I'm real proud we've been able to keep it No. 1. You know, there are people who like you and people who don't like you. "You suck, you stink." Whatever it is. But like baseball scores, like football scores, at the end here's the results. We've kept the show No. 1 for 20 years straight. And we've won every demographic group, all this kind of stuff. And eventually you hit diminishing returns.”
As for Fallon, Leno said that he’s gladly handing over the show to the SNL alum in particular, because the new host can make Tonight culturally relevant once again.
“Look, if NBC didn't have Jimmy Fallon in the wings, would I be here a little longer? Probably,” Leno admitted. “But you know, he's really good. I really like him. He's a true couple of generations away from me. When I see him do his musical numbers and stuff, I say, "I can't do that. That music is not my music."
So there it is – all wrapped up. Fallon is set to take over the show, which is now going to be filmed in NYC, on Monday, February 17.
Just ten days left until Fallon's debut!