Did Jay Leno give blessing to Jimmy Fallon as ‘Tonight Show’ replacement?

Tonight ShowJust in case you did not think that the Jay Leno / Jimmy Fallon saga had received enough burn in the press already, we now have this: reports that if the current “Late Night” host does end up taking the reigns of “The Tonight Show” after his contract is up, Jay would be happy with the decision.

Speaking on the street in a new interview with “Extra,” Leno simply responded with “I hope so” when asked if Fallon would eventually replace him on the show. He was also asked if he would leave NBC when his contract was up, and he responded with what really equates to be an “of course.” After all, why would he work for the network without a contract?

Hopefully, this week will see a quieting down of speculation about the late-night host’s future, mostly because we are not likely to really see any sort of actual transition happen until the fall of 2014. Some reports have suggested that Jay has a large buyout in his contract, especially after seeing how much Conan O’Brien was paid to leave during that late-night fiasco a few years ago; with that in mind, don’t expect NBC to pull the plug on the current version of “The Tonight Show” for a while.

Of course, we would be remiss if we did not also mention what is quite possible the most-forgotten fact when it comes to Jay is that “The Tonight Show” is currently still winning the late-night battle against David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon. In other words, we are seeing a pretty big risk being taken here when you already are in first place.

If you want to see some of Leno’s jokes that he fired off in the direction of NBC last week, you can do so by heading on over to the link here.

Photo: NBC

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