Thursday, April 24, 2014
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Leno says he was 'blindsided' by Conan pick, doesn't seem happy to leave 'Tonight Show'

Longtime host of The Tonight Show, Jay Leno has opened up to 60 Minutes about his looming departure as the Great Late Night Shuffle of 2014 begins in a few weeks. Jimmy Fallon will make the jump from Late Night to take Leno's gig in the earlier timeslot as fellow SNL star Seth Meyers replaces Fallon on Late Night.

Leno says he was 'blindsided' by Conan pick, doesn't seem happy to leave 'Tonight Show'

This Nov. 5, 2012 photo released by NBC shows Jay Leno, host of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," on the set in Burbank, Calif.  (AP Photo/NBC, Paul Drinkwater)
This Nov. 5, 2012 photo released by NBC shows Jay Leno, host of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," on the set in Burbank, Calif. (AP Photo/NBC, Paul Drinkwater) ASSOCIATED PRESS

Longtime host of The Tonight Show, Jay Leno has opened up to 60 Minutes about his looming departure as the Great Late Night Shuffle of 2014 begins in a few weeks. Jimmy Fallon will make the jump from Late Night to take Leno's gig in the earlier timeslot as fellow SNL star Seth Meyers replaces Fallon on Late Night.

All excitement about the shift aside, it's important to remember that this isn't the first time this has happened. It was only a few years ago that Leno was supposed to be replaced by Conan O'Brien, when the network panicked and Conan ended up in Late Night Purgatory before finding a permanent home over at TBS.

Now, with his exit actually approaching, Leno has opened up to 60 Minutes about his departure, the whole shebang the first time around, and what's in store for him in the coming months/years/lifetime after The Tonight Show. He certainly doesn't seem thrilled about any of it.

He said of being informed in 2004 that he would be asked to give up his show: "I was blindsided … [NBC executives said] 'You're out…' and I went 'OK.' " He added that he didn't ask the execs why they made their decision. "You know, you have a girl [who] says, 'I don't want to see you anymore.' Why? You know, she doesn't want to see you anymore, OK?" [The Hollywood Reporter]

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