Jay Leno Compares 'The Tonight Show' Exit To A Breakup

9:50 PM EST 1/26/2014 by Lindsay Cronin, Celebeat Reporter

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Jay Leno will host his final episode of The Tonight Show on Feb. 6, and in a new interview, he is admitting that it wasn't his choice to move on, and comparing his first exit to a breakup.

"It's not my decision, and I think I probably would have stayed if we didn't have an extremely qualified, young guy ready to jump in," Leno told 60 Minutes of Jimmy Fallon, who will take over his role on Feb. 17. "[Jimmy Fallon] is probably more like a young Johnny [Carson] than almost anybody since. And he's really good. So you go with the new guy. Makes perfect sense to me."

As fans of The Tonight Show may recall, this isn't the first time NBC attempted to replace Leno. Back in 2009, Conan O'Brien briefly took over the role but was later kicked out after a drop in ratings.

"I was blindsided..." Leno said of his first move from the talk show. "[NBC executives said,] 'You're out...' and I went, 'Okay.' It was kind of like being dumped by a significant other. 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, okay?'"

In the end, Leno was brought back onto the show, which caused some confusion in the minds of fans -- and in the mind of Leno.

"I didn't quite understand that, but I never chose to answer any of those things or make fun of any other people involved," he said. "It's not my way."

For more of Jay Leno's interview with 60 Minutes, tune into the show this Sunday, Jan. 26, on CBS.

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