Jay Leno: What’s Next for the ‘Tonight Show’ Host?

    January 1, 2014
    Kimberly Ripley

Jay Leno will soon hand over the Tonight Show reins to Jimmy Fallon. What will the late night talk show icon and comedian do once his long-running stint is finally done? Recent reports say CNN’s Jeff Zucker might have his sights set on the popular late night host. Zucker recently visited Jay in Burbank, entertaining the idea of a late night show on CNN.

In addition to Jeff Zucker, Jay Leno is being pursued by at least 10 additional media outlets. Those options include Core Media Group (they produce American Idol), Tribune, and former NBC chief Jeff Gaspin. Even NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt is making a very strong pitch to keep Jay right at home on NBC in a new unmentioned capacity.

“Nothing would make me happier than to find ways to keep him involved with this network. That’s really up to him,” Greenblatt says.

Ken Ziffren is Jay’s only representation. Leno and Ziffren both insist no decision will be made until after he bids adieu to The Tonight Show. That happens on February 6th.

Jay Leno still does an average of 100 live stand-up comedy gigs per year. Might he want to return to a career that’s solely on the road? That doesn’t seem likely at 63. What do you see Jay doing when he leaves The Tonight Show? And while Jimmy Fallon will no doubt make the perfect host for taking over the show, it’s almost unfathomable to think of late night TV without Jay Leno somewhere in the mix.

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Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.