If NBC really is looking to replace Jay Leno at some point by the end of last year with Jimmy Fallon, then the host of “The Tonight Show” is making it very clear right now that he is not going to go quietly. If there were two words at the moment to describe the longtime late-night host’s behavior, it would be “kicking” and “screaming.”
While at a taping for the show Wednesday, Leno did not directly address the chatter that Fallon could be in line to replace him; and instead, he fired off a joke about the network for what is the third straight day:
“According to several reports, scientists say they are getting closer and closer to being able to do Jurassic Park-style cloning of extinct species. Imagine that. Things that were once thought to be extinct could be brought back from the dead. So there’s hope for NBC. It could turn around.”
Now, the real question is this: if Leno chooses to keep this up, how long is NBC going to be willing to keep paying checks for their host so long as he keeps badmouthing him? At a certain point, you have to wonder whether or not they will be convinced to just ultimately cut their losses, and try to move forward despite having to pay Leno some sort of massive settlement to leave. (Think back to what happened with Conan, who routinely made it his objective to make network brass as miserable as humanly possible in his final days.)
What do you think about Leno’s new joke, and do you think that some of this could cause the network to make a move even sooner? If you want to read a little bit more on the new plans for Fallon, you can do so over at the link here.