No NBC Jokes in Jay Leno’s Monday Monologue

by | March 26, 2013 at 9:16 AM | Late Night, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, TV News

For the first time in 10 days, Jay Leno remained silent on the subject of NBC Monday on "The Tonight Show" (Photo: NBC)

For the first time since March 14, Jay Leno’s monologue Monday night contained no jokes about NBC, nor any other kind of reference to his job status.

It was a marked change from the monologues he had been delivering on “The Tonight Show” ever since he returned from a one-week hiatus on Monday, March 11, and launched a string of jibes referring to NBC’s low prime-time ratings and the plan NBC is reportedly formulating to replace Leno with Jimmy Fallon next year.

Leno kept up the jokes on March 12, then took a break on March 13 and 14. Then, on Friday, March 15, the jokes returned, partly because of the day’s date, and also because one of Jay’s guests that night was a fellow late-night host, Craig Ferguson of “Late Late Show” on CBS.

“Today [March 15] is the Ides of March,” Jay said that evening, ushering in a daily streak of NBC jokes that didn’t end ’til Monday (March 25). “This is when Julius Caesar was stabbed in the back by the people he trusted. Not a good day to be working at NBC!”

But on the first night of “Tonight” shows this week, Jay took a break.

Watch Jay Leno’s Monday monologue on “The Tonight Show”:

Elsewhere on late-night TV, Conan O’Brien returned Monday night to his TBS talk show after a weeklong break and made no mention of the Leno-Fallon situation. Certainly, a jab at NBC or Leno or both may have been appropriate from O’Brien, who figured prominently in the last drama that unfolded at NBC over “The Tonight Show” in 2010 — when Leno returned to replace him in 2010.

But on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” Monday night, Fallon actually broke into a brief but very accurate impersonation of O’Brien — an impression we don’t remember seeing Fallon do before. It was not a comment on the current late-night turmoil at NBC, but it is worth watching.

Watch Jimmy Fallon’s Monday monologue, with his impersonation of Conan: