With multiple sources reporting that NBC intends to replace Jay Leno as Tonight Show host with Jimmy Fallon next fall, the big question is who’s going to get Jimmy Fallon’s current job as the host of Late Night. The NY Post reports today that an anonymous source says longtime SNL head writer and Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers is Late Night producer Lorne Michaels’s top choice to take over for Fallon. The Post’s source is quoted as saying, “Lorne Michaels wants Seth to take over from Fallon. It would be perfect for him. Tina Fey’s name had also come up, but she has said she was too busy to do it.” NBC has yet to confirm plans that they’re transitioning Leno out for Fallon, but they have announced they’re building a state-of-the-art studio for Jimmy Fallon in New York, where The Tonight Show is expected to move once Leno is cut loose, effectively ending the show’s Burbank era.
Meyers, who we included in our “12 Amazing Replacements for Jimmy Fallon” list back in December when the Fallon/Leno succession talk began, seems like a natural fit for the job and the only real frontrunner at this point. With a strong relationship with Late Night producer Lorne Michaels, name recognition, and a stint behind the Update desk like current Late Night host Jimmy Fallon, Meyers probably looks pretty appealing to Michaels and NBC execs alike.
During a live chat with Bill Carter, who probably interviewed him after for that third late night book he’s probably working on, at NYC’s 92nd Street Y this week, Meyers was asked what his plans are when he eventually leaves SNL. He joked about not being interested in hosting jobs on Jeopardy!, The View, or Al Jazeera but didn’t deny interest in Late Night, saying, “Nobody could do that job as well as Jimmy Fallon.” Meyers explained that it’s not smart in show business to get one’s hopes up over one job, joking, “I could say I want the Al Jazeera job, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to get it.” This Meyers/Late Night talk is still unconfirmed, so the job could easily go to someone else, but for now, let’s just start speculating on which good-looking white guy will take over for Seth Meyers on the Weekend Update desk.