Jay Leno is ready to pass the torch on “The Tonight Show” to incoming host Jimmy Fallon and in a new interview with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush, he admits to eavesdropping on NBC executive Warren Littlefield to save his job, not once, but twice!
“I was in, there’s a huge closet in there. I just pulled the door behind me and listened, very simple,” Jay said of his spying, which ultimately helped him save his job. “I didn’t have an agent, I didn’t have a manager, I don’t have anybody. It’s nice to know what’s going on.”
Jay explained that after overhearing Warren’s plans for the future of his show on a conference call, he sprang into action, starting with reaching out to all the affiliate stations that he aired on to save face.
“You learn who your allies are and who’s with you and who’s against you” he told Billy.
Beginning Thursday, January 30 through February 6, Jay will take a walk down memory lane with Access, sharing his fondest memories of past guests, including Charlie Sheen and Hugh Grant, his relationship with legend Johnny Carson and what’s on his future horizon. Jay also opened up about his longtime love and wife Mavis.
Here’s what the late night king had to say:
On Johnny Carson: “He was terrific to comedians. Obviously he was a comedian himself and he would always write a little joke on a little piece of paper and say, ‘See if this fits on your act.’ He was always very kind to the comics and very nice to the comics… He was very good to me.”
On interviewing Hugh Grant following the actor’s 1995 arrest: “Hugh Grant was a wonderful guy because he showed up with no publicist, no manager, nobody said, ‘Oh you can’t discuss that,’ ok two questions on that subject and then you move on,’ I mean he said, ‘Go ahead whatever you wanna do’, he was great.”
On his wife of 33 years, Mavis: “You have to like the person you’re married to. I mean, we just get along very well, I mean, we’re complete opposites, I am dyslexic and not too bright and she is extremely smart and reads five or six books a week, umm, we just, we get a long, it works, you know, if you have to work in relationships then it’s not working, you know and, I don’t think we ever really had a fight or anything.”
Tune into Access Hollywood beginning on Thursday, January 30 to see more of Billy’s interview with Jay Leno (Nationally Syndicated, Check Local Listings).