Jay Leno Prepares to Step Down As 'Tonight Show' Host
The reigning king of late night is about to step down.
Jay Leno will actually have Fallon as his guest on February 5th, his next-to-last show as The Tonight Show host. His last day, Febuary 6th, Leno's final guest will be Billy Crystal, who was Leno's very first guest when he kicked off his 22-year-run hosting The Tonight Show way back in May, 1992.
Mary Murphy of the Annenberg School of Journalism told INSIDE EDITION, "I actually did the first interview with Jay Leno when he took over The Tonight Show for TV Guide, so I remember when he interviewed Billy Crystal then, and Billy Cyrstal now. It's such a perfect full circle for Jay."
Fallon starts his era as host of The Tonight Show on February 17th, during the second week of the network's Olympics coverage. Superstar Will Smith will be his first guest.
The name of the show will also undergo a change. It's going from The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Murphy said, "Jay made so many jokes about being pushed out, I'd say yes, he did feel that way. But, he's also been there for a long time. I think he understands you only get to sit in that chair for a certain amount of time."