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Jay Leno Poses As Bald Reporter To Inquire About His Exit

Jay Leno posed as a reporter, complete with a bald head and goatee, on Monday at NBC's summer press tour to ask network executives about his exit and they were only too happy to answer.

We have a full transcript of the 'questions' below, but the jokes didn't land quite as well as Jimmy Kimmel's appearance as a reporter last week. To sum it up first, NBC said it was moving ahead with its plans for the 'Tonight Show' and that Leno's last show would be on Friday, May 29, with O'Brien starting the following Monday, June 1.

NBC is trying to keep Leno at the network but the likelihood exists that Leno, who doesn't want to be forced into a mandatory retirement, will move to another network. When asked about the possibilty, NBC Entertainment's Ben Silverman replied: "We really believe in the decisions we've made with our partners, including Jay. We'll really be standing by them because we love the talent we have on NBC and we love the franchise that we have and we think there's opportunity for a lot of great talent to play."

Meanwhile it was also confirmed that Conan O'Brien will end his 'Late Night' run around March/April of next year, as he prepares for the move to Los Angeles to New York. Reruns for his show will apparently fill the gap until Jimmy Fallon is ready to take over the spot.

Finally, here's a transcript of Jay and his questions for the NBC execs:

Leno: When is Leno's last show?
Marc Graboff: Well, I figure we'll get right to that. Ol. Jay's last show will be May 29, 2009. That's a Friday. And Conan's first show as host will be on June 1, 2009 – the next Monday night.

Leno: Will Leno be paid for the rest of the year?
Marc Graboff: Yeah, sure. Sure.

Leno: Now, Brett Favre retired and then wanted to come back, and the Packers said no. What do you make of that?
Ben Silverman: Well, everyone's entitled to change their mind, but I would imagine that puts management in a possible situation.

Leno: Let me ask you something. Do you think what Jimmy Kimmel did, the four-time Emmy-nominated Jimmy Kimmel, do you think it was kind of cheesy coming in disguise and harassing you reporters?
Silverman: You know, I can't imagine anyone stooping to that level.

Leno: I know Leno got a nomination for his website 'Garage', but none for 'The Tonight Show'. Do you think people like him better as a mechanic than a talk show host?
Graboff: He's equally skilled at both.

Leno: Is it true that you offered Leno a fifth hour on the 'Today' show?
Graboff: That's a great idea actually.
Silverman: Would that work?
Leno: No, it's a crappy idea.

Leno: I know you brought back 'Knight Rider'. Any chance 'Manimal' will be coming back?
Silverman: We're negotiating for 'Air Wolf' and 'Manimal' original creator will not share the rights with us.
Leno: Alright. Thank you.

July 22, 2008 |

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