After weeks of rumors surrounding the fate of Jay Leno’s job as host of The Tonight Show, NBC today confirmed that current Late Night host Jimmy Fallon will, in fact, take over for Leno after his 22-year-run as host concludes in the spring of 2014. The show will also return to its original home at 30 Rockefeller Center in New York City. “Congratulations Jimmy,” Leno said in a statement. “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.”
“I’m really excited to host a show that starts today instead of tomorrow,” Fallon replied. The confirmation comes only two days after both Fallon and Leno made light of the rumors in a musical number, which you can watch here.
“Jay Leno is an entertainment icon, making millions of people laugh every weeknight for more than 20 years,” said Steve Burke, Chief Executive Officer of NBCUniversal. “His long reign as the highest-rated late-night host is a testament to his work ethic and dedication to his viewers and to NBC. We are purposefully making this change when Jay is number one, just as Jay replaced Johnny Carson when he was number one. Jimmy Fallon is a unique talent and this is his time. I’m thrilled he will become the sixth host of ‘The Tonight Show’ at exactly the right moment, in conjunction with our coverage of next year’s Winter Olympic Games from Sochi, Russia.”
Stay tuned as the story develops.