Jay Leno Breaks Silence About David Letterman's Retirement

The former "Tonight Show" host weighs in on his ex-rival's decision to leave late night in 2015.
Associated Press
Jay Leno (left) and David Letterman

Jay Leno has broken his silence about David Letterman's big news that he'll be retiring next year -- and he did it with a joke.

"Oh well you know, he and I [are] gonna do The Sunshine Boys on Broadway, so we're very excited about that," he quipped to Extra.

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Asked who he thinks should replace Letterman as Late Show host, Leno said: "I don't know -- a lot of good people out there."

Leno and Letterman have been embroiled in a public feud since the latter was passed over as NBC's Tonight Show host in favor of Leno when Johnny Carson retired in 1992. The two then engaged in a heated rivalry for ratings after Letterman switched to CBS.

However, in 2010, they appeared in a Super Bowl commercial alongside Oprah Winfrey, who also previously was embroiled in a feud with Letterman. Last year, Leno said on his show that the two had finally made up, and Letterman confirmed that on Howard Stern's radio show in November.

In February, Leno left his hosting gig on The Tonight Show (for the second time) and was replaced by Jimmy Fallon. But don't expect to see Leno hosting Late Show anytime soon. Asked by Extra if Leno would ever "fill in" for Letterman, Leno replied: "There's nothing to fill in."

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Letterman announced his retirement Thursday during the Late Show taping. His final show will come in 2015, when his current contract expires. Word of Letterman's departure first surfaced when REM's Mike Mills, one of the show's guests, announced the news on Twitter.  

"The man who owns this network, Leslie Moonves, he and I have had a relationship for years and years and years, and we have had this conversation in the past, and we agreed that we would work together on this circumstance and the timing of this circumstance. And I phoned him just before the program, and I said 'Leslie, it's been great, you've been great, and the network has been great, but I'm retiring,' " Letterman told his audience.

On Friday's Tonight Show, Fallon read a list of the "top 10 reasons David Letterman is retiring," which included No. 2: "Jay Leno needs a partner for next season's Amazing Race."