Leno to Sub for Film Critic Roger Ebert

(August 5, 2006) — Jay Leno’s thumbs are about to get a workout. “The Tonight Show” host is filling in as a guest critic on the movie review show “Ebert & Roeper” while regular co-host Roger Ebert recuperates from cancer surgery.

Leno’s appearance with Richard Roeper will air nationally Saturday and Sunday. He will be the first of at least two guest hosts director Kevin Smith is slated to host in a show airing Aug. 12-13.

“This promises to be a special experience,” Roeper said in a statement. “He’s (Leno) been a great friend to our program over the years, and it’s a real privilege to have him join me across the aisle.”

Ebert, 64, is at a Chicago hospital, where he’s in good condition “and improving each day” from surgery last month to repair complications from a previous cancer surgery, the show said in a statement.

This week’s episode of “Ebert & Roeper” was taped in Los Angeles to accommodate Leno’s schedule.

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