Jay Leno has revealed what he plans to do after his impending departure from NBC’s "Tonight Show." Leno told the Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker that he’s going back to his roots and will work as stand-up comedian.
“I’ve always been a stand-up comedian that had a day job,” he said. “This is my day job. I’ve always been on the road every single weekend — and the week too — since I got this job. So I’m back on the road. We leave here on the 6th. The 7th I’m in Sarasota. The 8th I’m in Clearwater. The 9th I’m in Naples, Fla. The 10th I’m in Miami …”
He added, “It’s what you have to do if you want to do comedy. You can’t take a year off and come back. No one’s ever taken time off as a comedian and come back and been better.”
Asked whether he might do another late-night TV show, Leno said, “No, I don’t think so. I mean, the ground has to lie fallow for a while, I think. I’ve been doing this a long time. I have no plans to go up against anybody else. People go, ‘Oh, Jay’s waiting in the wings.’ It’s so stupid.”
Asked how he feels about leaving the show, he replied, “I’m not unhappy. This is a great franchise, and you like to keep it No. 1. I’m real proud we’ve been able to keep it No. 1.”
He added: “Look, if NBC didn’t have Jimmy Fallon in the wings, would I be here a little longer? Probably. But you know, he’s really good. I really like him. He’s a true couple of generations away from me. When I see him do his musical numbers and stuff, I say, ‘I can’t do that. That music is not my music.’”