By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer
Jimmy Fallon will be taking over The Tonight Show from departing host Jay Leno. The late-night talk show, which has aired on NBC since 1954, will pass the torch to Fallon on February 17.
Leno promised not to take the show back from Fallon a few months later, like what happened to Conan O’Brian in 2010. Fortunately for O’Brian, he ended up with his own show Conan on TBS!
Fallon has hosted Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC since 2009, and was a regular on Saturday Night Live from 1998 to 2004. He’s also been in films like Almost Famous and Band of Brothers.
Leno said Fallon is “probably the closest to Johnny [Carson] of anybody else in late night”, which is high praise considering Johnny Carson is one of the most legendary American television hosts and comedians.
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson ran from 1962-1992, and Carson was not only inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1987, he was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992. Those are definitely some big shoes for Fallon to fill!
If there’s one piece of advice Leno has for Fallon, he said, “Don’t do any joke you don’t really believe in” and “never put your personal opinion ahead of the joke.”