Jay Leno will return to the “Tonight Show” — the NBC late-night institution he hosted for more than two decades — but this time he will appear as a guest, Variety reports.
Leno is in the lineup for this Friday, the story reports, along with actress Lucy Liu and Kevin Delaney of the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock, Ark. A spokeswoman for the show confirmed Leno’s appearance, the publication reports.
Leno has appeared on “Tonight,” albeit briefly, since he handed over the host’s gig to Jimmy Fallon back in February. He was seen previously as a participant in a skit.
“The ‘Tonight’ appearance suggests Leno is feeling more comfortable appearing in the public eye since his retirement as host of the program, which he led between 1992 and 2009 and 2010 to 2014,” the report notes. “The interruption came when Leno stepped aside to let Conan O’Brien take over the program, but then returned after NBC botched the process by retaining Leno’s services for an ill-fated prime-time program that raised hackles among affiliates and saw NBC’s prime-time and late-night ratings swoon.”
Leno is preparing to roll out a new CNBC show about cars.