Outgoing “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno joked about being without a job, Wednesday, during his opening monologue. Like Jimmy Fallon, Leno addressed the day’s announcement that he would be leaving “The Tonight Show” in February 2014.
“Folks, I got to be honest with you, I had a really awkward day today,” Leno says at the top of the show, “I had to call David Letterman and tell him he didn’t get ‘The Tonight Show’ again. Awful! Terrible!” The joke is very similar to one Dave used on his own show Wednesday, when he said his mom called him to let him know he didn’t get the job.
Though Leno was complimentary of Fallon, he continued to take shots at NBC’s ratings woes, joking, “He is a hell of a guy! He’s going to do a great job. I just have one request for Jimmy: We’ve all fought, kicked and scratched to get this network up to fifth place. Now we have to keep it there! Jimmy, don’t let it slip into sixth! We are counting on you.” The host also says he has his next job lined up, as basketball coach at Rutgers after Mike Rice was fired.
Finally, Leno referenced NBC’s failed five-year plan that sent Conan O’Brien packing, quipping, “NBC says in five years, they plan to replace Jimmy with Justin Bieber,” adding, “They are moving too quickly!”
Whereas Leno’s jokes were at the network’s expense, Fallon’s on “Late Night” were pretty lighthearted. Before thanking his staff, he said his “focus is right here on whatever this show is called.”
NBC has yet to announce a replacement host for “Late Night.”