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MAR
21
2 YEARS

Jimmy Fallon Jokes About 'Tonight Show' Imbroglio (Video)

While NBC plans his ascent to the storied late-night franchise, the affable host deflects swirling controversy even as Jay Leno continues to hammer the network.

Jay Leno Shows Jimmy Fallon the Ropes

Jimmy Fallon played it cool Wednesday night despite the international spotlight suddenly on his future.

As The Hollywood Reporter first reported, the young face of Late Night is in position to assume the mantle of the Tonight Show host, with NBC debating internally about promoting him as soon as next winter. While Jay Leno has been taking shots at the network -- which has led to some acrimony between the suits and denim -- and continued to do so Wednesday, Fallon smiled and played it safe with some non-offensive snark.

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"Before we get started, I have to talk about the rumors that came out today that I'll be moving up to 11:30 -- or as my parents call it, eh, too late," he started with a tease. "Actually the rumors are true; NBC is turning the Tonight Show into a diving competition."

From there, he transitioned into a crack about ABC's new diving competition, Splash, and then a joke about the new pope and Super Mario.

The light touch on stage mirrors his behind-the-scenes approach, which included calling Leno to smooth over any angry feelings about all the rumors and reports.