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When Jay Leno Is Returning To The Tonight Show

It’s hard to believe at this point that it’s been less than a year since Jimmy Fallon took over The Tonight Show on NBC. The new late night host has settled comfortably into the role that was vacated by Jay Leno, but this week, Leno plans to appear on the Tonight Show stage for the first time since he left last February.

Considering Jay Leno’s history with The Tonight Show, an appearance might seem a little forced to those unfamiliar with Leno’s transition story. The late night host was displaced once by Conan O’Brien and then later by Fallon, although NBC allowed the longtime host to bow out with a little more grace the second time. In fact, Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon were pretty chummy throughout the whole transitional phase, singing about The Tonight Show rumors together and more.

The transition was made even easier by Fallon, who has shown great respect for the late night host. Shortly night before he was officially signed on to host The Tonight Show, he appeared on an episode of Leno’s version, writing thank you notes for the late night great. Since he took over in February, he also asked Leno to appear in "House of Cue Cards," one of the sketch segments he routinely likes to run. Clearly, there is no bad blood between the two men, especially now that Leno has moved on to a new project.

According to THR, Leno is headed to The Tonight Show on Friday. It’s likely he’ll be talking about the two recent milestones in his life, including earning the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and landing a brand new series with CNBC. The latter will be called Jay Leno’s Garage and will follow the car enthusiast as he waxes poetic about classic cars. The show will focus on everything from test driving these classic vehicles to restoring them to mint condition. It’ll be a great show for car enthusiasts, but also should be a total change of pace for Leno, who spent a good chunk of his career under studio lights working the late night grind.

I’m sure we’ll get some fun stories from the man when he pops up on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. In the meantime, you can catch new episodes when they air on NBC, weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET.

Jessica Rawden

Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.