“Jay Leno is an entertainment icon, making millions of people laugh every weeknight for more than 20 years,” said Steve Burke, Chief Executive Officer of NBCUniversal, adding:
“His long reign as the highest-rated late-night host is a testament to his work ethic and dedication to his viewers and to NBC. We are purposefully making this change when Jay is #1, just as Jay replaced Johnny Carson when he was #1.
"Jimmy Fallon is a unique talent and this is his time. I’m thrilled he will become the sixth host of ‘The Tonight Show’ at exactly the right moment, in conjunction with our coverage of next year’s Winter Olympic Games from Sochi, Russia."
Leno's contract expires next year and the network wanted to make this switch before Jimmy Kimmel could steal more young viewers at 11:35 p.m.
“Congratulations Jimmy,” Leno said in a statement. “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.”
Added Fallon; “I’m really excited to host a show that starts today instead of tomorrow.”
Who would you prefer to see as host of The Tonight Show?