TV: Conan final guest on Leno's 'Late Night'

Jay Leno will pass the torch to Conan O'Brien on May 29 during the final show before O'Brien officially takes over as host June 1.
According to The Feed, Leno was "remarkably unsentimental" about his departure from The Tonight Show, which he has hosted for the past 17 years.
Leno's new prime-time program will air on weekdays in the fall on NBC at 10 p.m.

The Feed reports:
Insisting that he's keeping most of his staff and not even leaving the studio lot where Tonight is shot, Leno wouldn't even allow that his recent hospitalization and first-ever missed taping a few weeks ago was an alarm bell signaling he might want to, I don't know, slow down? "No," he said, before a reporter could even finish the question. “The only alarm that went off for me then, was (thinking) this is a huge mistake: I shouldn’t have gone to hospital. If I was in Lipstick Jungle, I could have had a bullet in my head and nobody would have moved me.”

Leno also weighed in on the difficulties of his new time slot and what Conan brings to the table as host:

Why will this 10 p.m. show work?

“I think it will be harder. It’s easier going against a parade of white guys, because they’re all doing the same thing. CSI – that’s the best-looking show on television. We’re just going to offer an alternative. Do I expect to beat them at first – probably not. This is the long haul. This is an economic decision. We can do five Tonight Shows for less money than you can shoot one of these 10 o'clock dramas. If we can hold on and do well – (when dramas are in repeats); Christmas holidays, Thanksgiving, that’s when we're going to make up the difference.”

Giving any advice to Conan?

“He’s been No. 1 since day one, so I don’t think he needs any help from me. I like the guy, we’re friends. Unlike the Miss California contest, this is a peaceful transition. The key to Conan is that he’s always had material. If there was any awkwardness in performing, it was backed by strong bits and good material. He just had to grow into being a good performer.”

Other Tonight Show guests in the finale week include: Mel Gibson (May 25), Arnold Schwarzenegger (May 26) Wanda Sykes (May 27) and Billy Crystal (May 28).

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