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Jay Leno Takes Swipe at Late Night Diversity, Stephen Colbert Hire: ‘A White Guy on Late Night, This Is Revolutionary’

TCA 2015: Former ”Tonight Show“ host says landscape ”certainly ready for a female host, another African American host“

When asked about Stephen Colbert replacing David Letterman on CBS’ “Late Show,” former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno quipped, “A white guy on late night, this is revolutionary.”

Leno made the comment during his appearance at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour to promote his own new CNBC series “Jay Leno’s Garage,” but took the time to put in his two cents about the ongoing public discourse about the lack of diversity in late night hosts.

“I would like to see a bit more diversity in late night,” he continued. “We’re certainly ready for a female host, another African American host. Arsenio [Hall] was terrific… Comedy is really funny when it’s stranger in a strange land, when you bring in different perspectives.”

Leno made clear he wasn’t slighting Colbert in any way, however, and assuaged any fears that Colbert will push any political agenda on the show.

“Colbert will do really well,” Leno said. “People think he’s this raging liberal. He teaches Sunday school. I think he’s a pretty conservative guy.”

Leno was also unsure if he would be asked to do Colbert’s new show, or if he would accept, saying he’s loyal to NBC.

“Jay Leno’s Garage” airs on CNBC.