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Next in line

/ 09:34 PM May 24, 2013

LENO. Old comedians never die. Photo from news.msn.com

On the US TV scene, the big to-do these days is over the imminent leavetaking by some talk-show icons who’ve ruled the roost for decades:

Jay Leno is rumored to be retiring, with his late-night “Tonight” slot most probably to be filled by Jimmy Fallon. In fact, to heat up the speculative fever all the more, Leno and Fallon recently did a spoof operatic duet of the song “Tonight” (from “West Side Story”).

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Insider talk has it that the shift in hosts for the long-running “Tonight” show may be more imminent than some people think.

Leno still has seven months to go on his contract, but it’s said that the show’s producers are prepared to pay him a full year’s salary if he retires from the show now. All that money for not working? Sounds like an offer that’s too good to pass up!

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But, who will take over Fallon’s own talk show? A likely prospect is Seth Meyers, who hosts his own spoof talk-show segment on “Saturday Night Live.”

What about the similarly iconic and gray-haired David Letterman? It’s felt that, if Leno goes, Letterman will follow suit. If so, who will replace him?

Satirist Jon Stewart is seen as a likely prospect, since he shares Letterman’s acerbic and sometimes downright sour and even anarchic view of the world. What about Stephen Colbert? —Same banana.

Free time

Speculating even more wildly, observers wonder what Leno and Letterman will do with all that free time on their hands, with no nightly talk shows to host? Hmm, a one-year vacation and sabbatical sounds great—but, after that?

Well, they could always go on the profitable stand-up comedy circuit, where additional millions are to be made. In fact, the fabulously wealthy Jerry Seinfeld, who doesn’t need to work at all for his next three lifetimes, has played that circuit from time to time—not for the money, you understand, but just to keep from getting “comedically rusty.”

He has even launched a new TV show which has him shooting the breeze with other comedians while “in full automotive locomotion.” Huh?

The thematic point to all this? New comedy stars may ease the oldies out next season, but old comedians never die, they don’t even fade away—but, just keep hitting those punchlines—while they live and breathe!

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TAGS: David Letterman, Jay Leno, talk show, Television, Tonight
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