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NBC Officially Names Jimmy Fallon Next 'Late Night' Host

NBC has finally confirmed reports and officially announced that Fallon will succeed Conan O'Brien as the host of NBC's 'Late Night' sometime in the middle of next year, as Conan takes over Jay Leno's spot on 'The Tonight Show.'

"I've been doing a monologue in my living room the last three years and it was embarrassing," Fallon joked at the announcement. "It's going to be a grind, it's going to be hard, but I'm going to go at it full force. The fact that I'm stepping into David Letterman and Conan O'Brien's shoes is very exciting."

The 33-year-old appeared on 'Saturday Night Live' for six seasons, but left the show to focus on making movies. The move is being managed by Lorne Michaels, the executive producer for SNL, who also picked O'Brien in 1993, following David Letterman's depature from NBC.

Even though Leno is going strong as the king of late-night, the move is going ahead based on a promise made nearly four years ago to Conan that he would succeed Leno. Word is that if NBC were to go back on the deal, they would owe Conan approximately $40 million. As for Leno, NBC only said they would like to keep him part of the network, but the latest is that Jay is rethinking retirement and will likely take his act to another network.

Interestingly, Jimmy Fallon's eighth-grade yearbook listed him as the "most likely to take over for David Letterman", so in a round-about way that dream has become a reality for the comedian.

May 13, 2008 |

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