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Jimmy Fallon Talks All Things Tonight Show

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

Jimmy Fallon talks moving from Late Night With Jimmy Fallon to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on NBC and reveals his first round of guests for the February 17th premiere in a recent article from Fallon will host Will Smith and musical guest U2 on the first episode, reportedly fulfilling a longstanding wish to have the legendary Dublin band appear on his show. Fallon went on to discuss his close relationship with Jay Leno and the events that lead him to take the reigns at the late night institution:

“After the whole Conan‑Jay thing went down, I called up Jay, and I said, ‘Hey, I just want to let you know that I’m not gunning for your position at all. I’m very happy at 12:30AM… I’m in New York. I’m trying to have a baby. I’m very happy at my job.’ So he goes, ‘I appreciate that.’ I said, ‘And when eventually you decide to step down, let’s do it the right way.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, of course.’ You just felt it was different from then on. We talk to each other every couple weeks, always giving me advice, all the way up ’til now. He called me and said, ‘I think this is going to be the year,’ and I said, ‘All right.’ And he goes, ‘I’d love for you to be the next guy. I think you’re going to be great.’” Fallon shared advice Leno has given him for The Tonight Show – to expand his monologue, currently three to four minutes, to the nine to 10 minutes Leno does. “People are busy, work hard, they may have missed the news, so you have to give them a complete view of the news,” Fallon said Leno told him, and he agreed. Fallon and his executive producer Josh Lieb are not worried that Leno may surface somewhere else or gets a new program on NBC. “The more Jay, the better,” Lieb said. Added Fallon, “Maybe he can be a new detective on The Blacklist.”

Fallon also addressed a stylistic choice to alter the show's title:

Fallon is changing “with” in Tonight Show‘s current title to “starring,” reverting to the moniker used by Jack Paar, Steve Allen and Johnny Carson. “‘Starring,’ it’s glamorous. It’s Hollywood. It’s kind of fun,” Fallon said. “It’s an homage, a little tip of the cap a little bit to the origins of the show.” Added Lieb,”‘Starring’ is a vastly more exciting word than ‘with’.”

Check the footage below to watch the teasers for the Fallon's upcoming Tonight Show debut with "The Woots." Read the full article on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon via Be sure to tune in for Fallon's debut on February 17th. Check your local listings for details.