Leno made a “surprise” appearance during Fallon’s opening monologue when the late-night host faked pulling a hamstring during a skit about President Obama and Bernie Sanders.
“I don’t think I can continue, but of course here at ‘The Tonight Show’ the monologue has to go on so I think I am going to have to sub out … can someone tag in for me?” he asked.
Enter Leno stage left, who proved he still has what it takes by jumping straight into a political segment.
“When the Republicans say the economy is bad you know it’s bad,” he said. “In New York on Park Avenue today I saw a woman with real breasts and a fake Gucci purse. You never see that.
“In Beverly Hills, parents are forced to raise their own children,” Leno continued, before Fallon jumped back in and offered: “The economy is so bad, 50 Cent just changed his name to Nickelback.”
Ironically, when Fallon asked Leno if he wanted to hang around for the rest of the show, he claimed he was heading over to his CBS rival. “I would love to but I’m lead guest on Colbert,” he quipped.
The iconic late-night host recently addressed why he didn’t make an appearance at David Letterman‘s “Late Show” finale earlier this year.
“Well, I asked Dave to do a 10-second tape for us [when I left]. Anything, just, ‘Leno who?’ They said no, they didn’t want to do it,” he said. “Well, why am I going to run all the way to New York? I mean, quid pro quo. I just said, ‘No, that’s kind of silly.'”
Leno took over “The Tonight Show” in 1992 amidst controversy as many expected Letterman to fill the void left by Johnny Carson. After a brief departure to host “The Jay Leno Show,” he finally retired in 2014 and handed off the reins to Fallon.
“Jay Leno‘s Garage” premieres Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 10 p.m. ET on CNBC.