Leno to Conan: ‘The Tonight Show’ is Yours

Unfortunately for O'Brien, that was Leno's take in 2004. Today? Not so much…

Jay Leno agrees: Conan O'Brien should be host of "The Tonight Show."

Unfortunately, that Jay Leno was the 2004 model. The souped-up 2009 Leno has apparently decided he wasn't ready to turn over the keys to NBC's storied late night franchise.

Want proof? Check out video of Leno's announcement five years ago that he was all good with NBC's "Tonight" transition plan, saved by a poster on Funny or Die. (H/T to TVBarn.com, which spotted the FOD clip).



  • Tim and Angie

    If Conan gets the boot i suggest a NBC Boycott, especially if they limit Conan from having a show at another network.

  • DetroitRockCity

    I hope once this is over that nobody will watch Jay Leno. I have a feeling this will happen. They are forcing Conan out and it was the plan all along. He will be back after a while I'm sure. Someone will offer him something on another network. WB late night? Sounds crazy…but it could work.

  • bill brown

    Well, I must ask, did Jay lie to us? To Conan? Sounds like it…

  • Joe

    It does sound crazy that Conan could end up on the Wb….because that network doesn't exist anymore. You probably mean the Cw.

  • Guvna

    Why don't they get rid of all the crappy talk show hosts. The list is WAY to long to type. But I'm sure Conan is better than any of those morons.

  • the truth

    uhh you guys are stupid. Look, conan's ratings fell when he took over so nbc has to make a business decision to reinstate jay leno. jay did not ask for this.

  • Isaac

    Actually, Conan's weren't because his direct lead in, the local late news, was down in ratings because of nobody watching Jay Leno's on the local affiliates. It's a domino effect.

  • Duh?

    Of course the ratings fell… NBC cannibalized the available audience by putting a crappy talk show on at 10pm as a lead-in to Conan's show. Who the hell wants to watch ANY late night talk shows after struggling through the crappy Jay Leno show? The old Tonight show audience never had a chance to get used to Conan by giving them a familiar face at 10pm and I think its clear that once you take the brand of the ‘Tonight Show’ away from Leno, nobody really wants to watch the guy.

    How else can you justify the guy being the #1 late night show with the Tonight Show name to getting canceled without it? It's not like his crappy 10pm show is any different than his old show. Besides of course the new new race segment which I would argue is a tremendous improvement to any of the old crappy bits he used to do anyway.

  • the real truth

    his ratings might be down in comparison, but as in any dynasty, you time for it to mature. Conan wasn't given enough time to build his fan base. Jay had years to do this and NBC with the “I NEED IT NOW” attitude, will be shooting themselves in the foot. Jay if a classy guy, will back down and let this be and NOT take over the Tonight Show. Even if he does come back, I feel the image of the network, the show, and LENO has be too damaged to recover. This turmoil fortunately falls in favor with Conan and his fan base along with the new ones he made in the last few weeks will show this.

  • Bobaloo

    I don't understand why people feel the need for a villain in this. Having worked in broadcast, I just don't see it, except some serious miscalculations on the part of management. Leno is innocent of wrongdoing. Conan, based on some strong beliefs, refused to begin the “Tonight” show at 12:05. Leno, in an ill-advised move to 10PM, simply found himself in the wrong place. With all that's happening in the world, I don't get why people are so exercised over some career moves by celebrities, or the machinations of a money-driven business.

  • peabody3000

    conan is the only nbc show im watching, and when its done i will not tune into that network again. call it a boycott if you want..

  • http://www.myspace.com/gregjaymartin Greg

    pssst, hey CONAN, I think he's bullshittin’ ya. Jusssayin’