Jay Leno might be having second thoughts about handing over his coveted Tonight Show host crown to Conan O’Brien, the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday. Three unnamed sources close to Leno confirmed that he wasn't happy. Both Leno and O’Brien have declined to comment.
What the commentators said
It’s not surprising at all that Leno is “having seller’s remorse,” said Charlie McCollum in The Mercury News. Over the past few years, “the workaholic Leno has become increasingly frustrated with the prospect of turning things over to O’Brien.” Apparently, he feels like network executives “strong-armed him into giving up the job.” Leno could have the last laugh, though. He never “struck a post-late night deal that would keep him at NBC,” so technically, he could leave The Tonight Show and “turn up the very next day on a late night show for ABC or Fox."
Leno has every reason to be “ticked off,” said Adam Buckman in the New York Post. NBC announced the succession plan five years ahead of time just so they could “hold onto Conan O’Brien, a personality who has never been tested at 11:30 p.m.,” and they “boot Leno, who has been tested in that time period for 14 years and come out on top for something like the last 12 of them.” Leno has “contributed so much” to NBC’s “bottom line” and they’ve turned around and treated him with complete “disrespect.”
Please say these rumors aren’t true, said Daniel Holloway in Metro’s blog The Word. “For a long time now, our only solace in life has been knowing that Jay Leno would be leaving The Tonight Show.” The guy just isn’t funny at all. “When Leno took over for Johnny Carson, it was like Jackie Mason stepping into Rodney Dangerfield’s shoes for Caddyshack II—except that Mason is funnier than Leno.” Conan O’Brien is much more deserving of that slot, and if he doesn’t get it, “cigar-chomping NBC executives” better watch out: “We are totally going to stop pretending to like Heroes just to make you feel better about yourselves.”