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Leno OK with Fallon as 'Tonight' show replacement

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   April 3, 2013 at 1:02 PM   |   Comments

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April 3 (UPI) -- Weeks of speculation proved true Wednesday when NBC announced Jay Leno would depart the "The Tonight Show" next February and Jimmy Fallon would replace him.

Leno, who has spent weeks ribbing his network bosses over the rumors, offered his blessing to his successor.

“The main difference between this and the other time [when Conan O'Brien took over "Tonight] is I’m part of the process," Leno told the New York Times. "The last time the decision was made without me. I came into work one day and -- you’re out.”

"There really aren’t any complications like there were the last time,” he said. “This time it feels right.”

Unlike the messy attempt to oust Leno in 2010, when he was briefly replaced by Conan O'Brien, the relationship between the outgoing "Tonight" host and his successor is cordial, at least publicly.

"I don’t want to make it harder for Jimmy," Leno said. "I want to hand off something that’s going to make it easier.”

On Monday, the two hosts mocked the speculation and demonstrated some solidarity in a bit during the handoff between "Tonight" and Fallon's current home, the "Late Show."

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