Jay Leno sat down with CBS News “60 Minutes” anchor Steve Kroft this weekend to discuss his departure from The Tonight Show.
NBC will mark the beginning of a new era on February 17 this year with Jimmy Fallon joining as the new host of the iconic late-night show.
Leno talked about, among many other things, his exit from the show, his future plans and most importantly about the controversy between him and former colleague Conan O’Brien.
Here are the three most important quotes from the interview:
“I Got Screwed”
Jay Leno admitted that money messed up his mind in a lot of ways.
“I always tell new people in show business. I say, "Look, show business pays you a lot of money, because eventually you're gonna get screwed. And when you get screwed, you will have this pile of money off to the side already." And they go, "OK, OK. OK, you ready? You ready?" "I got screwed." "You got the pile of money?" "Yeah, I'm fine." I mean, that's the way it works. I mean, you know, that's-- that's the way these things are. That's the way it happens.”
“Blindsided By Conan”
Leno was replaced with O'Brien back in 2009 while former began hosting The Jay Leno Show at 10 o’clock on NBC. Disgruntled with poor ratings, Leno demanded he get a half-hour show at 11:35, the time in which The Tonight Show had aired for years.
O’Brien protested, arguing that he would essentially be stripped of the show that he had been aspiring to host since 1993. In January 2010, due to failed negotiations, O’Brien left NBCafter he was offered a late-night show by Time Warner-owned channel TBS.
“I was blindsided," Leno told Steve Kroft. "[NBC executives said], 'You're out…' and I went 'OK.' "
"You know, you have a girl [who] says, 'I don't want to see you anymore.' Why? You know, she doesn't want to see you anymore, OK?"
Kroft then asked him if he was the one who talked NBC into getting rid of Conan so he could come back.
“No, never. I never in my wildest dreams thought that would happen, never. It never occurred to me that they asked me to come back. I thought he would do fine,” Leno replied.
“I Will Not Do Another Late Night Show”
While he thoroughly enjoyed his years on The Tonight Show, Leno doesn’t plan on coming back to late-night shows.
“I don't know what I'll do. Will I do another late night show to go against any of these people? No. No, that-- no. You can't recreate what we had at “The Tonight Show.” That was a 22-year moment in time. It was fantastic. And I loved it. Would I like to do things with-- oh, I don't know, History Channel? Yeah, I think that would be fun to do.”