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Jay Leno

I'm Done With Television

... For Good

2/10/2014 8:55 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF



Don't expect Jay Leno to hijack "The Tonight Show" back from Jimmy Fallon ... because the ex late-night host swears he's done with TV ... FOREVER.

Jay was in West Palm Beach Florida -- but not to start his retirement.   Leno was there to perform stand-up comedy just two days after his exit from "The Tonight Show."


Jay's answer may come as a surprise ... especially since he left the show in 2010 ... then famously wrangled it back from Conan O'Brien.

So, we gotta ask ...

Joan Rivers

Finally, Someone Funny Is

Hosting 'The Tonight Show'

4/5/2013 8:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0405_joan_rivers_videoJoan Rivers thinks Jimmy Fallon is the perfect replacement for Jay Leno for one key reason -- he's actually funny!!!

Rivers unloaded a barrage of Leno insults on our photog yesterday in New York City, while heaping praise on Fallon ... who she says she's been trading emails with since news of the "Tonight Show" switch broke. 

Rivers' beef with Leno and the "Tonight Show" has been going on for over 20 years ... which coincidentally is the amount of time Rivers says Leno has been on the air ... and done nothing memorable. 

Joan pulls no punches ... as if you'd expect anything less.

Jay Leno

NBC Won't Pull Plug Prematurely

3/21/2013 1:07 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Jay Leno will be beached when his contract is up ... but not a day before -- this according to sources connected to NBC.

Jimmy Fallon will be replacing Jay on "The Tonight Show" when Jay's contract is up in September, 2014.  There's been a buzz that NBC may not want to wait and will make the change before Jay's contract expires.  Not gonna happen.

Informed sources connected with the network tell TMZ ... when Jay renegotiated his contract during the Conan O'Brien mess, he demanded and got several penalty clauses that would make NBC take an ENORMOUS financial hit if they pull the plug early.

We do not know specifically how much of a penalty NBC would have to pay, but we're told Jay made it so big, it would be too much for NBC to swallow.

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'Tonight Show'

20 Staffers Get

The Boot

8/18/2012 5:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" is suffering some major setbacks -- 20 staffers were just canned from the show and even the big man himself had to take a pay cut ... this according to reports.

The firing of staff members was a decision made by Comcast -- the company that owns NBC -- while they try to assess the value of their investment, says The Hollywood Reporter.

In light of the firings, it was reported that even Leno himself took a huge pay cut from his reported $30 million salary to try and save as many jobs as possible. Leno has said for years he banks his salary from NBC and lives off the money he makes from his busy personal appearance schedule. 

"The Tonight Show" is consistently on top in the ratings, though its audience does tend to skew older.

Lindsay's

'Tonight Show'

Standing O

4/27/2011 6:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Lindsay Lohan won the hearts and minds of 500 people Tuesday ... albeit not a jury of her peers -- thanks to a heartfelt mea culpa on Jay Leno's "The Tonight Show."

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Lindsay got a standing ovation shortly before admitting no one but herself is to blame for the predicament that triggered a 120 day jail sentence.

After about 5 minutes, Jay and Lindsay did a bit of full disclosure ... revealing they have something -- actually someone -- in common.

Grand Theft

at 'The Tonight Show'

6/1/2010 2:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

How's this for news ... Jay Leno is the victim!  Law enforcement sources tell TMZ someone allegedly committed grand theft against "The Tonight Show."

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Someone allegedly stole thousands of dollars of wardrobe at an office facility for the show.  We're told the clothes were for the band.  We're told band members were supposed to go to the facility -- in Hollywood -- for a fitting, but before they arrived someone noticed lots of stuff was missing.

A "Tonight Show" insider told us the threads were for the new band, fronted by Rickey Minor.

The LAPD is investigating.  No word if it's an inside job.  So far, no suspects.

Bandleader Pissed Over 'American Idol' Snub

5/27/2010 3:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0527_ricky_miner_EX_Getty_01TMZ has learned ... one of the key players who made "American ldol" a success was so pissed last night after the show, he chewed out "A.I." producers backstage.

Rickey Minor -- who has been the bandleader for 6 seasons  -- is leaving A.I. to head up Jay Leno's band on "The Tonight Show."

Minor was fit to be tied after no one thanked him or wished him well -- hell, they didn't even acknowledge him during last night's finale.

Our "A.I." spies tell us ... when the show was over Minor went off on producers, angrily telling them how insulted he was by their silent dis.

Minor refused to go backstage for the champagne afterparty.  But producers pleaded with him and then got Randy Jackson to try and smooth it over with an unprepared speech.

Minor then said a few words but we're told, "You could cut the bitterness with a knife."

We're told Minor recanted and went to the afterparty -- but he was still fuming mad.



Another 'Idol' Player

Jumps Ship for Jay

5/27/2010 12:55 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Simon Cowell wasn't the only one who bid sayonara to "American Idol" last night.

Dorian Holley -- the Vocal Coach and Associate Musical Director -- said farewell last night as well, and he's heading for "The Tonight Show."

Holley was also the Vocal Director for Michael Jackson and was a key player in the London tour that never happened. He was with Jackson hours before he died.

Holley will become the lead singer in "The Tonight Show" band. And he's not the only "A.I." musical guru who's jumping ship -- Rickey Minor will take over Jay's band.

Need a job? There are openings at "Idol."


Conan

Collateral Damage in

Leno's Terror Joke

5/5/2010 2:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Jay Leno cracked a joke on his show last night, implying that the Times Square bombing suspect doesn't just support terror ... he also supports Conan O'Brien.


During the gag, Leno created a fake Facebook page for Faisal Shahzad -- on which he claims the perp was a member of several online groups, including Al Qaeda, the Pakistan Frequent Flyers Club ... and Team Coco.

Zing?

Slash

Sneaks Conan O'Brien

Onto Leno Show

4/7/2010 3:55 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Slash pulled off the ultimate act of defiance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" last night -- dude rocked a Team Coco pin on the air during his performance at the end of the show!

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Though it appears NBC tried to edit around the Conan O'Brien support symbol, a few shots of the pin still managed to make air.

No word if Jay even noticed.

'Curb' Star

Rips Jay Leno:

He's Got No Character

3/16/2010 1:04 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

"Curb Your Enthusiasm" star Jeff Garlin says he wouldn't be caught dead on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" ... because he says Conan's nemesis "has no character."

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During an interview with Jimmy Baron from 92.9 Dave-FM Atlanta this weekend, Garlin -- a long time friend and former roommate of Conan O'Brien -- claims NBC was "stupid" to replace Leno with Conan in the first place ... but says Leno derailed Conan's chances for success by doing the 10 o'clock show.

Garlin goes on to rip Leno by saying he has "no character" -- and says he won't be caught dead on "The Tonight Show" now that Jay is hosting it again. 

You Gotta Hand It

to Conan O'Brien Fans ...

3/13/2010 3:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Team Coco strikes again.

Jay Leno

A Conan O'Brien fan posed for a photo with Jay Leno last night with the letters "Coco FTW" written on his hand -- which means "for the win."

Leno got the "Tonight Show" back and Conan got $32.5 million from NBC -- they're both winners.

Conan's Tour

No Bread

for the Redhead

3/11/2010 3:45 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Conan O'Brien isn't making a single cent off his upcoming 30 city comedy tour -- sources tell TMZ that Coco is doing the whole thing so he can employ his former "Tonight Show" staff.

We're told roughly 40 people have been hired to work on the production -- many of whom are "Tonight Show" alums.

The move is no sweat off Conan's back -- dude scored a $32.5 million severance deal from NBC before they kicked him to the curb.

And more good news for the crew -- tickets to "The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour" are selling out so fast, more shows have already been added.

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