Passing The Late-Night Crown

In picking Leno over Letterman for The Tonight Show, NBC goes for youthful drive tempered by jut-jawed likability

Late night comedy: On the day Jay Leno has been announced as host of NBC's The Tonight Show beginning next May, Johnny Carson confides to his audience, "I want to tell young Jay Leno I've changed my mind; I'm gonna stay." And then Carson, the program's star since Jack Kennedy was President, barks out his brittle laugh and purports to lose himself in merriment.

Late night melodrama: An hour or so later, David Letterman says, "Before we continue, I think we should congratulate our friend Jay Leno for being selected as the host of The Tonight Show. And the good news...

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