Sunday, January 17, 2010
Quote of the Jay
"I said, ya know, there's really only one person who could've done this into his 60s and that was Johnny Carson, and I think it's fair to say I'm no Johnny Carson. So I called up my buddy Jerry Seinfeld and I said what do you think, and Jerry quit his show when it was the most popular and I'm proud to say this show has been number one, we will keep it number one, and then in '09 I'll say, 'Conan, take it over, it's yours." Cause, ya know, you can do these things until they carry you out on a stretcher or you can get out when you're still doing good... This is not tomorrow. It's five years from today and I want to say that I don't think there's a better choice, because, ya know, when I took this show over, boy, there was a lot of animosity between me and Dave and 'who's gonna get it?' and, quite frankly, a lot of good friendships were permanently damaged. And I don't want to see anybody ever have to go through that again, 'cause this show is like a dynasty: You hold it and then you hand it off to the next person, and I don't want to see all the fighting and 'who's better?' and nasty things back and forth in the press. So right now, here it is. Conan, it's yours. See ya in five years, buddy."
-- Jay Leno in 2004, announcing that he would be stepping down as the host of The Tonight Show in 2009 and handing the reins to Conan O'Brien