Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Jay Leno reclaims 'The Tonight Show,' Letterman acknowledges the return

Posted on

Jay Leno took back The Tonight Show from Conan O’Brien on Monday night, saying, “It’s good to be home.” Ha-ha-ha, oh, oh, I get it: Conan was a bully who kicked poor Jay out of his own house and stayed on as a squatter until the police (i.e., NBC) gave Jay back his property! Justice prevails!

“I’m a little nervous,” said Leno. “I know Dave and Oprah are watching.”

Meanwhile, over on The Late Show: “My name is David Letterman, same time, same host,” said Dave. “It’s a tough night for my mom; she doesnt know who to watch, Jimmy Kimmel or Jay.”

Leno preceded his monologue with a taped bit in which he was Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (Betty White put in a cameo appearance). The idea was that Jay was waking up from a dream after being gone to a place that was “not so nice.”

He also built a segment around finding a new desk. (He’s doing The Tonight Show from the studio where he once did the revolutionary 10 p.m. phenomenon, The Jay Leno Show, not from the gazillion-dollar studio NBC constructed for that interloper Conan.)

First guest Jamie Foxx sprayed the audience with champagne and led the crowd in a cheer: “When I say ‘welcome,’ you say, ‘back’ — Jay Leno!” “Get up! Do the wave!” he yelled. The audience obliged him.

The best moments of the hour belonged to Lindsey Vonn. Leno conducted a solid interview with the Olympic athlete, who came out carrying a couple of her medals. Vonn was completely charming.

Over on Letterman, Bill Murray was pretty great, coming out on crutches and elevating his leg into a sling, moaning about having had an operation for a torn meniscus. (Hey, had one of those myself.) Dave asked Murray about the possibility of a Ghostbusters 3. “This is my nightmare,” said Murray. “I told them if they killed me off in the first reel, I’d do it.”

Did you watch Leno? Letterman?

Follow @kentucker