jay leno tonight show retirement Jay Leno: 'Tonight Show' rumors are NBC's March Madness

Ever since it was first storied that Jay Leno could be leaving “The Tonight Show” at the end of the 2013-14 television season, the rumor mill has gone wild. It’s largely speculated that Jimmy Fallon will take over the late night show once Leno leaves and that it will head back to New York when he does, and some people — like Jimmy Kimmel — are really excited about the prospect. Leno recently spoke out about the stories and laughed them off, comparing the “who’s in, who’s out?” rumors to March Madness.

“Are you all excited about March Madness?” Leno asked the audience on his March 21 show. “Are you all into March Madness? People are talking about who’s in, who’s out, who’s gonna be eliminated. And that’s just here at NBC. I’ve never been in the paper this much. It’s fantastic.”

Leno isn’t the only one to be cracking jokes, as Fallon quipped on his March 20 show, “The rumors are true … NBC is turning ‘The Tonight Show’ into a diving competition.” Neither of these statements is an outright denial of what’s being rumored, so it seems like a transition of power likely will be coming at some point in 2014. There’s also been speculation as to who will take over “Late Night” once Fallon departs for “Tonight,” if he indeed gets the gig.

Posted by:Terri Schwartz