In the event you haven’t heard – maybe just this instant you awoke from a coma – Jimmy Fallon will replace Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show this coming February. Also, the show will move back to New York City, where it was born. In general, there’s been an outpouring of support for Fallon, who’s current gig as host of Late Night will go to Saturday Night Live head writer and Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers, if the rumors are to be believed.
Lots of late night television fans have weighed in on the changes at NBC, but we wanted to take a glance at what the big players in the field said yesterday as the news broke. Jimmy Kimmel, for instance, almost immediately tweeted, “Congratulations to my dear, sweet @JimmyFallon- a formidable rival and an incredible lover.” Jimmy Kimmel Live! recently debuted in a new timeslot on ABC and now goes head-to-head with Leno. Though Kimmel is friends with Fallon, he’s undoubtedly pleased he’ll no longer be pit against Leno, who’s maintained his late night number-one status for years.
And then there’s David Letterman, Leno’s bitter rival, who had plenty to say during his Late Show monologue last night. Here’s how the show opened, with plenty of references to the Conan O’Brien debacle of 2011:
I got a call today from my mom, who said, I see you didn’t get The Tonight Show again. What are you going to do, Mom? It seems like we just went through this. Didn’t we just go through this? (asking bandleader Paul Shaffer) Jay Leno is now being replaced – and this is the second time this has happened. It’s crazy. – he’s being replaced by a younger late night talk show host. What could possibly go wrong? Honestly. They had pretty good luck with this in the past. But NBC – God bless them – have announced the official date of Leno’s departure. No mention of his official date of return. We don’t know when that’ll take place. But I happen to know Jay’s got another job on a network that has greater viewership, higher ratings—Univision. He’s going there…
And here’s what Coco, himself, had to say.
And here’s Leno!
And, finally, here’s the word from the winner, Jimmy Fallon.