If and when Jay Leno leaves “The Tonight Show” next year, it doesn’t look like he’s going to head out gracefully.
Every day this week the late night host has been taking shots at NBC executives in his opening monologues.
Monday, he referred to NBC heads as snakes:
Tuesday, Leno followed up by taking a jab at the network’s ratings. The joke is at the 1:40 mark.
And, last night the host called the network “extinct.” The joke, with a reference to “Jurassic Park,” starts at the end of the clip at 3:30.
Leno’s tirade at the network, of course, comes after The New York Times reported he was told to discontinue jabs at NBC’s expense after joking about the network’s failing ratings.
Since then, multiple reports from The Hollywood Reporter, NYT, and Business Insider have Jimmy Fallon stepping in next year to succeed Leno as head of “The Tonight Show” after his current contract expires next fall.
The Hollywood Reporter pins Fallon as transitioning to “The Tonight Show” by February 2014 while The New York Times reports NBC has already “made a commitment” to the 38-year-old late-night host.
The deal hasn’t been completed yet; however, it claims NBC is quietly making studio space for the late night host to relocate from Burbank to New York.
Leno has reason to be upset.
In recent weeks, the late-night host continuously finishes first in the ratings for the network, not only among total viewers, but also the coveted 18-49 audience.
Even encore telecasts of Leno have finished at number one.
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