Jay Leno is not happy about leaving 'Tonight Show,' but praises replacement Jimmy Fallon in new '60 Minutes' interview

By Jon Niles | Jan 24, 2014 12:12 PM EST
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Jay Leno
(Photo : reuters)

In a new interview with 60 Minutes, Jay Leno opened up about his upcoming departure from hosting The Tonight Show in order to make way for incoming host Jimmy Fallon. Though this decision was made earlier in 2013, Leno this week revealed that he was never really on-board with leaving the desk but doesn't blame Fallon for this situation.

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"It's not my decision," Leno admits, "and I think I probably would have stayed if we didn't have an extremely qualified, young guy ready to jump in. [Jimmy Fallon] is probably more like a young Johnny [Carson] than almost anybody since. And he's really good. So you go with the new guy. Makes perfect sense to me."

Clearly Leno won't badmouth the incoming host because he had to deal with a lot of negative press when the whole Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien controversy was going on. In fact, Jay addressed his "villain" image in regards to that situation.

"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."

But getting back to his approaching departure, Leno admitted to not asking why his contract wasn't being renewed by NBC.

"I was blindsided," Leno said. "[NBC executives said] 'You're out...' and I went 'OK.'...You know, you have a girl [who] says, 'I don't want to see you anymore.' Why? You know, she doesn't want to see you anymore, OK?"

Check out a clip of Jay's 60 Minutes interview right here:

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