This Sunday (Jan. 26th), current Tonight Show host Jay Leno will be talking in length to 60 Minutes’ Steve Kroft about how he felt about being in the middle of the late-night controversy at NBC that saw him losing his job twice.
Leno talked about the failed experiment that had Conan O’Brien step in his place, saying that he was “blindsided” when NBC execs told him he was out.
“I was blindsided…[NBC executives said] ‘You’re out…’ and I went ‘okay.’” Leno says he never asked NBC why, but the news hurt him like a romantic breakup. “You know, you have a girl [who] says, ‘I don’t want to see you anymore.’ Why? You know, she doesn’t want to see you anymore, okay?”
As he prepares for his final shows this month, Leno revealed how he really feels about Jimmy Fallon taking over the Tonight Show on Feb. 17th.
“It’s not my decision and I think I probably would have stayed if we didn’t have an extremely qualified, young guy ready to jump in. [Jimmy Fallon] is probably more like a young Johnny [Carson] than almost anybody since,” said Leno. “And he’s really good. So you go with the new guy. Makes perfect sense to me.”
When asked if he would have preferred to stay, Leno says, “Well, it’s always nice to keep working. Sure it is…But am I extremely grateful. Yeah.”
Watch more in the teaser video for his interview on 60 Minutes this Sunday: