Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon's musical spoof tries smoothing tension over Tonight Show succession without saying much about it
How do you smooth the waters of a rumored Tonight Show transition without actually talking about the changeover in question?
If you’re Tonight Show host Jay Leno and Late Night host Jimmy Fallon, you pull together a crossover, bi-coastal gag poking fun at all the speculation surrounding a change of hosts with a simple message: No matter what gets said in the outside world, we’re still friends.
That seems the goal of this bit, which aired before Fallon’s show Monday night, featuring he and Leno crooning the West Side Story ballad "Tonight," (okay, probably pretending to croon while dubbed-over singers nailed the notes) with lyrics appropriately twisted to lampoon the occasion.
Both Leno and Fallon have faced rumors NBC wants to replace the older Tonight Show host with their younger, 12:30 p.m. model, and both seem anxious to avoid the public relations nightmare of the last attempted transition between Conan O’Brien and Leno.
There seems to be little message in the parody beyond their continuing friendship (cynics will note that Leno also seemed friendly with O’Brien for years as well, until he insisted on a deal which undercut his successor’s attempt to take over the Tonight Show).
Few in Hollywood expected Leno to sign another deal with NBC anyway. So this video may be the first salvo in an attempt to smooth things over until the inevitable press releases hit the public.
Check it out below and feel free to speculate: What do you think?