Jay Leno didn’t say much about the debacle involving himself and Conan O’Brien back in 2009, when NBC decided to bring on the flame-haired comedian to replace him…and then changed their minds several months later, leaving O’Brien without a job and wondering what he’d done wrong. While the former “Simpsons” writer spoke often about how hurt he was, subsequently going on a comedy tour documented in the film “Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop”, Leno chose to stay on the quieter side of things, but now that he’s been ousted again, that’s not the case.
In a new interview with “60 Minutes”, Leno says that the decision to leave the show this time around was definitely not his, and compares the Conan O’Brien incident to being dumped by a girl who won’t tell you why she’s leaving. He also says the media portrayed him as someone who came in and stole the show away from Conan, which angered the latter’s fans.
“I didn’t quite understand that, but I never chose to answer any of those things or make fun of any other people involved,” he said. “It’s not my way.”
Leno does have praise for Fallon, however, acknowledging that he is a good choice as host–perhaps the best choice.
“Jimmy Fallon is probably more like a young Johnny [Carson] than almost anybody since. And he’s really good,” Leno said. “So you go with the new guy. Makes perfect sense to me.”
O’Brien commented on the news that Fallon would be taking over “The Tonight Show” as well, keeping it upbeat as he congratulated the former “Saturday Night Live” star.
“I want to congratulate Jimmy. That is a really fun gig,” O’Brien said to laughter. “You laugh, he said, but it really is. Jimmy is the perfect guy to do it.”
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