Why Famous: Leno became host of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on NBC in 1992 and served until 2009 and again from 2010 to 2014. His transition to host was controversial as he replaced Johnny Carson as host; Carson and others had expected David Letterman to replace him, this led to a longtime feud between the rival late-night hosts.
Leno hosted until 2009, when another conflict over hosting erupted, this time with Conan O'Brien, as part of an attempt by NBC to keep both its main draws with the network. Leno hosted The Jay Leno Show until NBC cancelled his program and reinstated him as host of The Tonight Show after buying out O'Brien's contract.
Leno retired in 2014 and was replaced with Jimmy Fallon.
- 1977-03-02 Future The Tonight Show host Jay Leno debuts with host Johnny Carson
- 1991-06-06 NBC announces Jay Leno will succeed Johnny Carson as host on "The Tonight Show" on May 25, 1992
- 1992-04-15 Jay Leno's final appearance as permanent guest host of Tonight
- 1992-05-25 Jay Leno becomes permanent host of "The Tonight Show"
- 2014-02-06 Jay Leno ends his time on "The Tonight Show"