Jay Leno’s Final ‘Tonight Show’ Airs February 6, 2014

Published 2 years ago by , Updated August 13th, 2013 at 1:24 pm,

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Jay Lenos Final Tonight Show Airs February 6, 2014

The Tonight Show has certainly had its fair share of drama over the past few years. In 2009, NBC ousted longtime host Jay Leno to make room for Conan O’Brien, presumably in the hopes of attracting a younger demographic. Then, just a few months later – amidst declining ratings for The Tonight Showthe network offered O’Brien a $33 million payout to leave the network, and Leno returned once more to the hosting seat of the late-night stalwart.

However, Leno’s reign on The Tonight Show is coming to an end… for real this time. NBC announced in April that former Saturday Night Live funnyman (and current Late Night host) Jimmy Fallon would be Leno’s successor. The choice has long been rumored, since it largely amounts to a promotion for Fallon, who has had a long-standing relationship with the network since becoming a featured player on SNL in 1998. Now we know precisely when that transition will take place.

According to Deadline, the final episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno will air on February 6, 2014. The show’s current staff – which was once reported to number 170 – will still get paid through September, as part of Leno’s exit deal with NBC.

jimmy fallon tonight show Jay Lenos Final Tonight Show Airs February 6, 2014

The timing works out perfectly for NBC. Leno will finish up his run on the show just before the 2014 Winter Olympics begin to dominate the network’s schedule, allowing viewers a couple weeks of transition before Fallon takes over on Monday, February 24. As previously reported, The Tonight Show will relocate to New York for his run, with SNL‘s Lorne Michaels executive producing.

With Fallon moving up to the 11:30 pm slot, his former SNL castmate Seth Meyers will take over Late Night. However, the network still reportedly hopes to keep Leno in-house in some capacity, though don’t expect him to receive a prime-time talk show as he did in 2009. That little experiment ultimately led up to the awkward hosting transition that caused O’Brien to jump ship and launch a new show on TBS. It remains to be seen if Fallon will have better luck achieving success on The Tonight Show, but with Leno’s long history as a ratings winner, the pressure is on Fallon to make the show his own next year.

Do you think February 2014 is the right time for Leno to bow out, and will you be watching Fallon’s version of The Tonight Show? Let us know in the comments.


As mentioned above, the final episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno airs February 6, 2014 on NBC.

Source: Deadline

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  1. Count me out for Fallon’s Tonight Show. The dude laughed through practically every single sketch during his tenure on SNL and his current show is painfully unfunny. Nothing good will come of this.

  2. I’m a big fan of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and really hope the show will pretty much stay the same, just with a different name and a different time slot. I’ll be watching.

  3. So, how long does Fallon get before NBC screws him over Conan style and Leno comes back saying he never wanted to leave in the first place?

    • Hopefully, Leno will NEVER come back.


    • This is the third time NBC has fired Leno. The only they didn’t get rid of him the first two times, was because Conan was cheaper to let go ($45 Million for Conan, $145 Million for Leno). But since his contract is up with them, they are letting him go.

  4. I like Jimmy Fallon, although not sure what the older crowd will watch, probably go over to Letterman.

    What would be funny is if Leno signs a deal with TBS… poor Conan.

  5. Sorry, but IMO they took a concept that is the Tonight Show that worked with Johnny Carson (who was tailor perfect for the role) and have unsuccessfully tried to replace him with unworthy substitutes. Letterman might have been a better choice, but that did not work out. Time to just dump the whole Tonight Show concept. I do not think it is the “must” watch show it used to be many years ago. I hardly watch it at all.

  6. Goodbye Jay Leno. Good Riddance. Nothing funny about you except for your looks. And never forget that if it wasn’t for David Letterman, you’d be some obsolete motor cycle mechanic in some sweaty basement.

    Very much looking forward to Jimmy Fallon.

    Still, Fallon should be careful about NBC.

    The peacock network has a history of screwing people over.

    • It’s amazing people have opinions like this. Jay Leno has consistently dominated Letterman in Ratings for 2 decades and counting for a reason, he’s just flat out funnier. But more importantly he’s a much more down to earth and interesting interviewer. As far as “Never forget that if it wasn’t for David Letterman” Jay Leno owes no success to Letterman, Johnny Carson Hand picked Leno, how is that Leno’s Fault?

      The Fallout from the Conan thing was absurd, sure, Leno probably should of said NO to NBC, when they came knocking for his return, but it was THEIR decision and their decision alone, people act as if Conan was fired but replaced by a newcomer rather than Leno that would of been any better, how so?

      Anyways now that we’re done removing the stupidity from these comments, I can say I am definitely looking forward to Fallon, he’s the first person I’ve seen in years I’ve thought was worthy of Leno’s spot, so Thanks Jay for all the laughs, hopefully you’re on another network shortly thereafter. Welcome Jimmy Fallon.

      • “Anyways now that we’re done removing the stupidity from these comments…”

        WTF are YOU talking about?

        Leno as lame and as pre conditioned as a TV Dinner. Sure, boast about his ratings all you want. So, what? His ratings didn’t stop NBC from REPLACING HIM WITH JIMMY FALLON. Right? Right.

        Leno’s audience is primarily the over 60 demographic. Time to go to the elephant graveyard. His shtick it old, boring and without any risks.

        And it is a 1000% fact that it was David Letterman who gave Jay Lamo his big breaks YEARS ago. If you don’t know this, then it will be hopeless to even explain to you.

        If you really like J Limo, good for you. You obviously like frozen corn because that’s what his stale, oooooooold routine is all about.

        David Letterman is getting up there, but he STILL has his edge. You are sooooo wrong when you say, ” Johnny Carson Hand picked Leno…”

        What kind of drugs are you on? That is absurd. The TRUTH is that Carson and everyone else expected Letterman to carry on after Carson left “The Tonight Show.” It was NBC who made the decision to have Leno take the spot.

        Carson had no say in the matter. But he completely endorsed Letterman and was furious over NBC jacking Leno into his show.

        NBC had Leno take over Carson’s seat in paper, but weeks before Leno’s first show, NBC asked Carson if maybe they should have Letterman take on the show.

        The President of NBC, at that time – Robert Wright – called up Carson and asked him about Letterman. Carson said, “Bob, why are you asking me now? Isn’t this a fait accompli? Doesn’t Jay already have the job?”

        And Wright said, “We made a mistake. I should have asked you before.”

        After the circus was over, Carson visited Letterman on Dave’s show. NOT ONCE did he ever go on Leno’s show. It was openly known that Carson liked Letterman very much.

        There’s a book you should read to educate yourself on this matter. It would be wise of you to read it before you type up falsities.

        The book is called ” “The Late Shift: Letterman, Leno and the Network Battle for the Night.” It’s on Amazon. It is the source of the quotes above.

        Leno is a conformist, Letterman has always gone against the obvious.

        If you feel the need to tout Leno’s ratings, you’re probably the same kind of person who champions Adam Sandler over Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim.

        Good luck with that.

        The bottom line: Leno is being tossed into the trash heap by NBC FOR THE SECOND TIME.

        Letterman STILL has his show. Letterman has been on Television longer than ANY OTHER late night talk show host.

        Don’t take it too hard….

      • We all have a pretty good idea that high ratings for a show does not equate to actual high quality content.

        The “war” between Letterman and Leno ultimately came down to what type of show they each wanted to maintain and that was mostly dictated by a vast gap in personalities between the two men.

        Letterman has taken a much more Johnny Carson type of approach in wanting to have a late night show that has shifted away from goofy skits and into a more conversational program. A place where war veterans and environmental/scientific eggheads seem to get two segments on a routine basis. Plus, a completely sardonic, in your face attitude.

        Leno has always been about getting the ratings. Always wanting to be the cool guy that does commercials and drops names like it’s going out of style despite his awkward approach at talking to people. NBC watches over that show like a hawk, so Leno, being who he is, has had no qualms about appeasing them by being a homogenized show biz type.

        Two talk shows with completely different views of what it should consist of. Each show catered to its host…or network.

        As for Fallon, he’s a talented guy. He’s got a lot of showmanship in him, which in itself is a lost art in most TV show genres. The guy can tell a joke…he sings…he dances…he can play a good tune. All good stuff.

        But Jimmy Kimmel is the guy to beat right now.

        • You are delusional. 1/3 of Carson was either monologue or skits. Letterman is a bitter leftwing suckup. Leno slams both sides of the political spectrum even though he is an admitted liberal. If Leno decides to continue on on Fox or another network, Letterman will still be in second place, but he will always have his interns to keep him happy.

  7. “the network offered O’Brien a $33 payout to leave the network”

    seems kinda low, personally i wouldn’t have settled anything below 50 dollars.

    • “Lunch with one alcoholic drink” That’s a standard buyout clause in Hollywood. Keep up, man.

      • Lol!

        It is kind of low. Hard to buy penny candies for $33 anymore.

        If it was a meal buyout, then at least take me to Swiss Chalet.

        • LOL. $33 would have indeed been quite a deal for NBC. That typo has now been fixed.

  8. As Yogi Berra is said to have said, this is deja vu all over again.
    If there’s one guy who earned to go out on his terms it’s Leno
    This move will be as successful as replacing Leno with O’Brien.

  9. Are there people who both read this site and watch Leno? Some find Fallon unfunny(I like him) but Leno hasn’t been funny in fifteen years.

    • I occasionally watch both of them, and I agree with what you said. Fallon isn’t extremely funny IMO, but he is likeable. Leno on the other hand…his whole schtick feels so awkwardly out of date that it is a strange experience to watch.

      • Over here in UK Land, we don’t get these shows regularly but from what I’ve seen growing up, Jay Leno was more irritating than funny and I spent most of my teens watching Letterman instead because he was far funnier and more entertaining as a host.

        Fallon….not sure about him. I haven’t seen anything funny about him. I guess that’s why they’re replacing Leno with him, keep the same annoying, unfunny tone of the show but with a younger guy.

        I’d watch Conan if we got his show here.

        • Originally here in Australia they used to show The Tonight Show with Jay Leno followed by Late Night with Conan O’Brien (on the Comedy Channel), they would both regularly appear as guests on each others show.

          After O’Brien took over The Tonight Show they then would show the Jay Leno Show, followed by The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, then The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon.

          They no longer show The Tonight Show at all, the only show that survived was The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon.

          Conan appears on another channel altogether although very late, and way past my ‘I need to get up in the morning for work’ bed time.

          But quite frankly I prefer to watch Craig Ferguson and his weird robot side-kick, find him way funnier.

          • @Pedro:

            I am also a Craig Ferguson fan. Everyone looks like they are just having fun on that show.

            • And I agree. Ferguson seems as though he doesn’t really care. He speaks honestly (often). I like Ferguson best too.

  10. When will Leno get his show back then? May, June 2014 maybe?

  11. I fully expect Fox’s fall lineup to include another attempt at a late night talk show, with Jay Leno at the helm.

    • If so, they will have a hit. Leno is a class act.

  12. Fallon isn’t the sharpest comedian, but he does seem friendly, and is game for some enjoyably crazy things. I wonder how older audiences will respond to him, though.

    Leno hasn’t been doing anything irreplaceable really, and a fresh change is welcome. But is Fallon the right guy? They really messed their future up with the Conan thing…

    Finally, Seth Meyers? Really? The guy has never done much of anything for me on SNL, and I would probably actively watch something else instead.

    • The friendliness is what I like about him. In a time when cynicism and making mean-spirited fun of others seems to be the strong trend, his approach is very refreshing. Sure, sometimes they make fun of certain celebrities on Fallon’s show as well, but the never do the really nasty below-the-belt stuff that Leno likes to do so much.

      It’s good to have a late night host who is rather interested in having a good time than in drawing on schadenfreude and the misery of others. Also the little games that he plays with guest and audiences sometimes should appeal to older viewers too. It’s pretty old school.

  13. Jerry Seinfeld needs a talk show

    • No. He really really doesn’t. I like him for saying “Hell, I’ve made my money. I’ve got nothing to prove, so I’m just going to hang around.”

      On the other hand, he sort of does have a little bit of a talk show. It’s online. It’s called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (seriously).

  14. Do any of us actually believe that his show will stay dead? Its come back to life like 8 times it seems like.

    • His show isn’t in danger of dying. He’s leaving it. And it’s not HIS show. It was invented two hosts ago. It’s been on a LOOOONNNNNNG time.

      • three hosts ago.
        Steve Allen
        Johnny Carson
        Jay Leno

        • AH! A fair point, GJPinks! It’s not fair to count out Conan.

        • Jack Paar doesn’t count?

          • I’d forgotten. Yes. Three hosts ago.

  15. All of these shows essentially share the same format
    which was developed over a half-century ago and
    are curiously nostalgic while being anachronistic.

    Once upon a time these shows were the only
    outlet to see film clips and film stars outside
    the movies and that is hardly the case now.

    Not sure who is watching or why but enough
    still are to make the networks money and
    Leno has the proven to be high revenue
    generator and forcing him out when on
    top, once again, makes little sense.

    • Agree with a lot of your points.

    • Because it’s entertaining and because it’s always topical, and thus as current as it gets.

      Your arguments are like saying: “movies essentially share the same format, which was developed over a century ago. Once upon a time movies where the only outlet to see stories brought to life. With video games becoming more and more cinematic that isn’t the case now. Not sure who is still watching movies and why…” ;)

      • These shows have a fraction of the audience they once commanded
        precisely because there are other outlets for the promotion they
        provide which once was their exclusive domain back when.

        The shows not are the last to provide new information
        and are current and topical for a minority of people.

        • The shows *now*

      • A presentation format is separate from the medium it is presented in.
        Television has remained essentially the same as far as bringing
        images into the home despite the changes in technology.

        I was comparing the format of shows not television as a
        medium itself and your movie analogy misses the point.

        • Then pick a still existing movie genre instead (comedy for example), if I was being too broad with my analogy. ;)

          • Are there movie comedies today like there were 50 years ago? No.
            But there are television shows, these talk shows, that are exactly
            like their counterparts from the 1950s, and that is most unusual.

        • I agree. These shows are made as a form of promotion or advertisement…and they (almost) always have been that.

          Topical? I don’t think so. Maybe a handful of the palest political jokes and then moving on. I give you entertaining…to some. They are fading as TV(the medium) fades.

  16. ” the network offered O’Brien a $33 payout to leave the network”

    Thirty-Three bucks, huh? I hope they paid that in cash.

  17. Who actually watches Late Night talk shows anymore? I just watch the clips that people recommend the next day on-line.

    • Exactly. And far, far fewer watch than in years past.
      Largely a non-tech savvy older audience, whom I am
      not knocking, as one of those happen to be my mother :D

  18. Then three months later they will get rid of Fallon and bring Leno back.

    • I doubt that. If I were Fallon…or Fallon’s agent and negotiator….I’d be building a protection clause into my contract right off the bat.

  19. So… what are the chances of him coming back later that year? Sending Jimmy Fallon to cable?

    • I say, slim. Anyone would think the exact same thing: Leno may pull a repeat. Fallon and his team would protect himself from that right off the bat.

  20. My opinions:

    Jimmy is the best, he’ll be around for a while, since so many young people watch him now.

    Jay is funny, don’t wanna see him go but if Seth Meyers does good, all is well.

    Conan O’ Brien is not funny at all. I don’t know how anyone thinks he could replace Jay Leno.

  21. I won’t be watching Jimmy Fallon! The suits at NBC don’t seem to understand that Jay Leno has long been number 1 in ratings and demographics because MORE viewers find his show to have a better balance and be more entertaining. No; Jay Leno won’t be back at NBC. Greenblatt has already burned that bridge. Do some folks really believe that Leno has been number1 for nearly 20 years because of the viewers loyalty to the NBC Tonight Show? Let’s hope that Leno’s millions of loyal viewers get the chance to watch his show on “another network”!

    • I think you’re being a little silly here. Leno has to be leaving because he’s shot his wad and wants to retire. Whether you think he’s funny or not (and I really really don’t), you’re right, the man brought in viewers…But things change, and he’s not the first to sit in that chair. I really don’t think it was “The Suits” conspiring….
      ….ON the other hand, if it was. It sort of makes sense. The demographic that watches Leno, by and large, is sort of out of the business of buying stuff….or going to the movies and listening to the music the show promotes. THey need to find a way to tap into the audience that’s gonna buck up for whatever crap they’re pushing. Business is business.

  22. fallon is terrible. in the land of late night comedies Conan is king

  23. Fallon appeals to a completely different demographic. We will not be watching his show. I’m sure he appeals to the college age kids but not to us. His humor is immature and uninteresting to us retired folk. We have been loyal Leno fans and will miss his Jay Walking, Photo Booth and Gas Pump clips. Also moving it to NY, where all of the other major NBC variety shows reside, is making them all alike. CA offers a more liberal and happy environment than the uptight New Yorkers. Sorry. I think NBC blew it again.

  24. What I dislike about Jay Leno’s monologue is his repeating over and over again, his punch line of most, if not all his jokes and furthermore, his after joke jibberish that makes no sense at all, trying to understand what he is saying. One good example is one of his comments made the other day with Steve Carrel appearing as his guest. I forget which joke it was, but Jay could not stop rambling on with no understanding of his joke ending. Jay, stop repeating your one-liners and no sense jibberish. I will enjoy you better. I’m sad to see you go, but until then, think you will be even more successful with a change in delivery. Thank you.

  25. I’ve been a loyal viewer of Jay since he took over the reins from Carson. Since my TV is always on NBC when I turn it off at night, the first thing I see the next morning is Matt, Al, unfortunately now Savannah, and the rest of that crowd. It usually stays on that “default channel” until the two annoying broads make their appearance (KLG & Hoda?).

    Fallon has funny skits (love his impersonations), but he himself is just not a funny person. Jay now gives other, younger comedians the opportunities to make their marks on his show … but he himself is still a very naturally funny person (the kind of person I would like to be talking to at a party or stuck in a car with on a long road trip).

    Once Jay leaves NBC, my TV will never be on that channel again.

  26. I personally think Fallon cannot hold a candle to Jay. He is number one and has gotten me thru some awful times in my life with his humor. He will be dearly missed. I am soooo sad he is leaving. Martin Short would have been a better choice to replace him.

  27. Sorry to see Leno go. It is refreshing to tune into a real gentleman and he truly knows how to interview people and shows respect. I like Jimmy but I cant stand his “side kick” . He may think that he is the next coming of Johnny carson and Ed McMann but hate to burst his very egotistically self that he couldn’t hold a candle to those two. We will see what happens but I think the ratings will be in the dump because Jimmy thinks he knows everything . He needs to gid rid of the cocky attitude and inside jokes he tells. He doesn’t always play to the audience and many times makes one feel like an outsider. I wish both of them well . time will tell what happens. I do not think Jay will return even if asked .

  28. Loved Johnny Carson videos — He was a pro who knew how to entertain, interview and connect with the audience. I could never tell what political party he was affiliated with. Jay Leno has been a huge success although he is more politically inclined. He is not afraid to joke about any president, although I’m not positive of his political affiliations. Jimmy Fallon does a great job with his music renditions! His interviews are mediocre and his comedy is vey childish. He needs to mature. One mistake he makes is identifying way too much with one political party – to the point of telling of his love for Obama. He’s probably lost a large part of his prospective audience. When Leno leaves, so will we.

  29. i like jay….fallon, not even in the same class…