The former host of “The Tonight Show” says he’s perfectly content with the “former” part.
Jay Leno, who stepped down from the NBC late-night institution in January 2014, is now a full-time stand-up comic again, a path he’s happy to be taking.
“Write joke. Tell joke. Get check. It’s not a hard plan,” Leno tells the AP in an interview from Jerusalem, where he’s set to host the inaugural Genesis Prize ceremony Thursday (May 22).
Leno says he particularly enjoys not having to prepare for guest interviews every day, which often included watching the movies stars were there to promote.
“You don’t have to watch ‘Noah’ and all these other films, these kinds of kid movies,” he says. “You get to a certain age where, ‘OK, I’m over the superhero thing. I don’t have to do that anymore, so that’s fantastic.”
Leno thinks his “Tonight Show” replacement, Jimmy Fallon, is doing “a terrific job” as host, and he’d be open to returning as a guest — someday.
“I have no problem doing that,” he says, “but I think that once you leave you’ve got to let the ground lay fallow for a while.”