Right at 12:36 A.M., the transition point from the Tonight Show to Late Night, NBC showed Jay Leno walking off stage into a throng of reporters, while Jimmy Fallon was getting ready in his 30 Rock studio, next to a stack of newspapers, all screaming out rumors of the Tonight Show’s replacement. Jimmy had assumed the staring-pensively-out-the-window position when Jay surprised him with a phone call — “Hey kid, how you holding up?”— and they both unleashed their emotional baritones into a rendition of West Side Story’s “Tonight, Tonight.” Here’s a look at the lyrics:
Fallon: Only you, every night you throw to me, Jay Leno. In the news, all they do is say ‘I’m replacing you.’ They think I can woo the demo.
Leno: So the network says, ‘Here’s an idea. Pack your bags, take a hike, NBC-ya.’
Fallon: Tonight, tonight, who’s gonna host Tonight? Is it gonna be Jimmy or Jay? Tonight, tonight, where will they tape tonight? In New York? Will it stay in L.A.?
Leno: Tonight, tonight, my ratings were all right. Twenty years, and I’m still in first place. Tonight, tonight, I’ve got Fox on the line. Or maybe I could take over for Dave?
Both: Tonight, tonight. Why do they say we fight? I like you. You like me. We’re okay. Tonight, tonight, who cares who hosts Tonight? People just watch online the next day.