UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. Jay Leno, longtime host of NBC s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, announced today that he will wrap up what will be 22 years of headlining the iconic late-night show in the Spring of 2014.
NBC also announced today that Jimmy Fallon, now host of NBC s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, will transition into new hosting duties on The Tonight Show franchise after Leno concludes his successful run.
As part of the transition, The Tonight Show will be returning to its original home in 30 Rock in New York and will be executive-produced by Emmy Award winner Lorne Michaels ( Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock ).
Programming plans for the 10:35 p.m. time period currently are in development and will be announced soon.
Said Leno: Congratulations Jimmy. 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.
Said Fallon: I m really excited to host a show that starts today instead of tomorrow.
Leno has hosted The Tonight Show with Jay Leno since taking over the reins from television icon Johnny Carson in 1992.
Before Leno became the host of the top-rated The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, he honed his comedy in clubs all over the country often exceeding 300 dates per year. He opened for the likes of Tom Jones and John Denver and after moving to Los Angeles began his career in television and film, both writing behind the scenes and making appearances in shows such as Welcome Back Kotter and films including American Hot Wax. On March 2, 1977, Leno made his first appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and was named permanent guest host in 1987. While he took over the desk full-time in 1992, Leno never stopped touring on the comedy circuit and still averages over 150 gigs a year.
Emmy and Grammy Award winner, Fallon began his TV career with Saturday Night Live in 1998, where he quickly became an audience favorite. Known for his spot-on impressions, innovative musical and comedy sketches and his stint as co-anchor of Weekend Update with Tina Fey, Fallon spent six successful years on the show. In March 2009, Fallon returned to NBC and took over the late- night legacy with Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The show has continued to garner attention for its viral videos, audience games, A-list guests, and Fallon s choice of critically acclaimed house-band, The Roots.