Jay Leno leaving 'Tonight Show' and will be replaced by Jimmy Fallon next spring

Published On: Apr 03 2013 12:43:00 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 03 2013 12:58:48 PM EDT
Fallon-and-Leno-promo-jpg
DETROIT -

Jay Leno says he will leave NBC's `Tonight Show' next spring, to be replaced by Jimmy Fallon.

Leno, 62, made the announcement Tuesday that he will wrap up what will be 22 years of headlining the iconic late-night show in Spring 2014. 

“Congratulations Jimmy. I hope you’re as lucky as me and hold on to the job until you’re the old guy. If you need me, I’ll be at the garage," Leno said in a statement.

As part of the transition, “The Tonight Show” will be returning to its original home in 30 Rock in New York and will be executive-produced by Emmy Award winner Lorne Michaels (“Saturday Night Live,” “30 Rock”).

“I’m really excited to host a show that starts today instead of tomorrow," Fallon said.

The late night talk show hosts have been pitted against each other as rumors fly that NBC would change the guard.

But the two made light of their situation Monday night -- by belting a show tune together.

READ: Leno, Fallon make light of rivalry

"Tonight, tonight, who's going to host 'Tonight'? Is it going to be Jimmy or Jay?" the pair sang in a parody of "Tonight" from the Broadway musical "West Side Story."

The rumor mill has Fallon, 38, taking over 62-year-old Leno's job as host of NBC's "Tonight Show" -- at an undisclosed time -- and Leno has responded with pointed barbs at his employer that have seen his ratings rise.

“In the news, they say I'm replacing you, they think that I can woo, the demo," Fallon sang.

Leno responded: "So the network says, here's an idea: pack your bags, take a hike, NBC-ya!"

Rumors about Fallon supplanting Leno have been swirling since mid-March, when the New York Times' Bill Carter reported that the network has made a commitment to Fallon in regards to him succeeding Leno.