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Morning-After Leno

By admin Published: December 10, 2008

I know, I already posted at length on this topic. But if you want to read my story about the change in today's Beacon Journal, you can find it here. And after the jump is an NBC-provided transcript of Leno's remarks from last night's "Tonight Show," including a couple of jokes he had already tried out at Tuesday's press conference.

And you may want to check out Andy Borowitz's column on NBC's situation, which begins this way: "In a move that some industry insiders called a game-changer, NBC announced today that it would cancel all of its primetime programs and air a static image of its peacock logo every night between 8 and 10." ...

Welcome to "The Tonight Show." Nice to have you. Excuse me a second. Before we get started, I wanted to tell the stagehands something. Hey, guys? Guys, leave those boxes. I'm not going anywhere. You know, we're staying. You know, we're staying.

(Applause.)

As a matter of fact, we're going to be on [that first part was garbled] at 10:00 p.m. Well, you know, it's interesting. A lot of people were shocked when they heard. Not that I was moving to prime time, but that NBC still had a prime time.

(Laughter.)

We're going to be -- well, thank you. Thank you. We're going to be doing a new show in the fall. We'll start at 10:00 p.m. right after the last hour of "The Today Show."

(Laughter.)

See, the way they're gonna reschedule, it's going to be all talk. Oh, man. Well, as you may have heard, there were rumblings that I was leaving NBC and going to ABC. Let me tell you something. Those were nothing but rumors started by a disgruntled employee: me.

(Laughter.)

Another thing, and I say this quite seriously, you know, I didn't know I was going to stay with NBC, but remembered something my parents always told me. They said, "Whatever you do in life, always try to come in fourth." And that's really --

(Laughter.)

And that's where NBC is. We've been in fourth place for so long, by golly, we want to stay there. I'll tell you how sneaky show business is. Do you know what CBS announced today? Did you year about this? They're moving "Letterman" to 9:59. I couldn't believe it. Couldn't believe it. You know, I had a lot of options. I considered going back to my first love, the theater. You know, the theater is my first love.

KEVIN EUBANKS: Oh, wow, what a loss.

JAY LENO: As you may know, I had a very successful run on Broadway earlier this year.

KEVIN EUBANKS: You did?

JAY LENO: Yes, I did. Show my clip from Broadway. I was quite proud of the work I did there.

(Clip shown.)

(Applause.)

///

(Comments during second commercial rejoin)

JAY LENO: I should explain what went on today. We made a deal to stay on here at NBC. I'm very excited about that.

(Applause.)

We're going to go -- we're going to do a show at ten o'clock. It won't be "The Tonight Show." "The Tonight Show" will be Conan's. It will be similar. I'll be 20 pounds lighter. Kevin will have hair. It's going to be a little different, but we're going to be primetime. We've got to clean it up a little.

KEVIN EUBANKS: That sounds good. If it's going to give me hair --

JAY LENO: It will give you hair.

KEVIN EUBANKS: -- I'm there.

JAY LENO: And we thought it would be interesting. This is kind of new, uncharted territory. Nobody's done a show similar to this at ten o'clock. People say -- I asked NBC, "Do some research." And they said, "Yeah, people would like to see something like this earlier." We're going to try it. If it. For the last 17 years, it's been a privilege to say, "Please stay tuned for Conan." And I'm glad I'll be able to do that again because people think, you know --

(Applause.)

Conan is a great guy. Conan will do a wonderful job on "The Tonight Show" as well. And I think it will be fun to say, "Stay tuned for Conan coming up right after the news."

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