Hooray!

Whether he likes it or not, Jay Leno‘s got a date for his final Tonight: May 29, 2009.

NBC today set the calendar for the funnyman’s mandatory retirement as part of a timetable for the network’s rejiggered night-owl plans.

Heir apparent Conan O’Brien will be installed as Tonight Show overlord on June 1. O’Brien will abdicate his Late Night desk in the spring, most likely March or April, and move from New York to Los Angeles to prepare for his new duties.

Thank the maker. Never again will I accidentally see Leno’s face when I’m viewing anything on NBC. Hacky McHackerson can have fun tootling around in his car collection while (hopefully) O’Brien will give the Tonight Show a surreal shot in the arm.

Wait, what’s that?

Jimmy Fallon in turn will take over Late Night sometime in the spring, after a practice run online.

NBC will air O’Brien-fronted Late Night reruns until Fallon is deemed up to speed.

Vomit. So, what, Late Night will consist entirely of Fallon snickering at himself? What kind of a world do we live in that Jimmy Fallon is allowed anywhere near a camera?

I do find it rather amusing that they’re forcing him to do a “practice run” online, which approximately two people will see, and holding his place with reruns. “Sure, maybe people have seen them already, but at least we know they’re funny, which can’t say about you, Fallon!”

I wish I was an executive on NBC. I’d force Fallon to wear training wheels on the show for an entire year.

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