Jimmy Fallon Makes Light of Tonight Show Rumors on Late Night, Talks Jay Leno Takeover to GQ

Comedian pokes fun at reports he's due to inherit the most sought-after job in late-night television

By Josh Grossberg Mar 21, 2013 2:35 PMTags

With reports surfacing that NBC is eyeing him to succeed Jay Leno at The Tonight Show beginning in the fall of 2014, Jimmy Fallon addressed the rumors with—what else?—laughs.

"Before we get started, I have to talk about the rumors that came out today, which says I'll be moving up to 11:30 [p.m., Leno's timeslot]. Or as my parents call it, 'Yeah, that's still too late,'" joked the funnyman at the start of his monologue on Wednesday night's Late Night.

But the wisecracks didn't stop there.

"Actually the rumors are true. NBC is turning the Tonight Show into a diving competition. So exciting," Fallon quipped, referencing ABC's new reality hit Splash, which debuted this week to boffo ratings.

Actually, what's really exciting is the chatter, first reported by The New York Times, that, as part of the succession, the peacock network plans to move The Tonight Show back to New York City, where it began before Johnny Carson took it west to Los Angeles. 

In a separate cover story for the April edition of GQ, the 38-year-old Fallon opened up some more about the possibility of taking over the coveted Tonight Show gig and hinted that it hasn't really been the focus of his attention.

"I mean, in the nicest way, who really cares in the nicest way. It would be great, sure, I guess. I'd love it, but it's not on my mind," he told the magazine. "I'm in no rush to do anything. I'm kind of a boring character in that book. I'm not in a fight with Jay, or Conan [O'Brien], or any of them. I don't have that story."

At least not yet. 

As for the man Fallon's supposedly set to replace, Leno has yet to comment on the reports, but he has been poking fun at his bosses and NBC's recent slide into fifth place in the ratings during his own monologues this week.

(E!, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and The Tonight Show are all part of the NBCUniversal Family.)