Jay Leno: 'I have chosen to stay on the Titanic'
Now that it's official that Conan O'Brien is vacating The Tonight Show, Jay Leno made the following statement during today's taping of The Jay Leno Show that will air tonight: "NBC and Conan O'Brien made an announcement earlier today — as many of you know — Conan is leaving the network. His final show airs tomorrow night. I have chosen to stay on the Titanic. I don't believe the iceberg is that big, the biggest ship, this ship will never sink and Kev…when it does, Kev as it's sinking you will play us…you'll be here for us so. Apparently we'll be back on The Tonight Show March 1 after the Olympics, so that's pretty much where we are."
Earlier today, NBC Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin told EW.com that he expects Leno "will be competitive" when he returns to The Tonight Show and — despite the wave of pro-Conan O'Brien sentiment — that he will not have trouble luring stars to his old stomping grounds. "Jay has been booking guests for 18 years, and while there might be a guest or two who favors Conan who doesn't want to come on, there are also guests who Leno has that don't like to go on Conan," said Gaspin. "I think we will be fine."