Not only is Jay Leno welcoming back all his old friends on “The Tonight Show” for his final two weeks, but he’s also making the rounds of press. He recently gave a interesting “60 Minutes” interview and also sat down with Jimmy Fallon for a joint interview on “Today.”
Wednesday (Jan. 29) Leno stops by “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” where he is more upbeat about his leaving “Tonight” than he has been in other interviews, pointing out once again that this time he was asked and last time he left he was told.
Leno also says that Fallon is going to do a great job as his replacement:
“You know, I think he’s going to do terrific because I mean there really is a true generation gap. He’s 23 years younger than I am and you know, he knows the music, he knows — like I said, when I see him do a dance number with Justin Timberlake, well like I can’t do that. I get it. … [but] I come from New England, you don’t retire at 56. [affects a Boston accent] ‘What, are you better than me? You don’t work no more, is that what you telling me? What, you don’t work no more because you better than?’ So at about 63, 64 that’s about the right age,” says Leno, who has said in other interviews that he doesn’t want to do another late-night show, but he isn’t averse to some other kind of TV project.
DeGeneres and Leno also reminisce about the first time they met, which was at a comedy club in San Francisco called the Boarding House.
“We were doing stand up and I was brand new and it was a big deal that I was working with Jay Leno,” recalls DeGeneres. “And I was on the poster with him and he signed it ‘See you at the top.’ And it was the sweetest; it made me feel like, ‘Oh my god he thinks I’m going to make it to the top.'”
Leno cracks, “Well, The Top closed in 1984. It was a strip joint right off of Broad Street.”
But he continues, “I thought you were really funny. Because comedy is comedy. I always hated the term ‘comedienne.’ When I was a kid, they had comedians and comediennes, which were females. Comedy is comedy. Funny is funny and that’s what I like.”
Leno’s last “Tonight Show” is Thursday, Feb. 6.