Jay Leno Says He'll "Stay on the Titanic," Admits Return to Tonight Show

Zigzagging funnyman says he'll be back after the Winter Olympics

By Natalie Finn Jan 22, 2010 4:35 AMTags

So Jay Leno is aware of what's been going on at NBC.

The former Tonight Show host has finally, officially acknowledged that he's returning to the job he held for 17 years before he was—temporarily, as it turned out—replaced by Conan O'Brien.

"NBC and Conan O'Brien made an announcement earlier today," Leno said Thursday toward the end of one of his dozen or so remaining prime-time monologues.

"As many of you know Conan is leaving the network," he continued.

"His final show airs tomorrow night. I have chosen to stay on the Titanic...Apparently we'll be back on the Tonight Show March 1 after the Olympics, so that's pretty much where we are."

So there you have it.

Earlier today, NBC and O'Brien shook (virtually, through their attorneys) on a $45 million exit deal that includes $12 million in severance for O'Brien's staffers and requires that he stay off the late-night airwaves (as a competitor) until Sept. 1.

"For those of you watching at home," Leno told his audience tonight, "to give you an idea what the weather is like here, it's almost as gloomy outside NBC as it is inside NBC."

In honor of the coming Tonight Show swap, frenemy turned full-on nemesis David Letterman hosted another peek into "The Jay Leno File" over on The Late Show. (Who knew Leno and Jimmy Stewart had crossed paths like that?!)


Tell us what you're looking for in entertainment and celebrity news. Complete this survey and you will be entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win $500.  Click here for full sweepstakes rules.