updated 04/03/2013 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 04/03/2013 AT 6:00 PM ET
Earlier this week, NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno and Late Night host Jimmy Fallon engaged in a charming little skit – a duet of “Tonight” from West Side Story, with novelty lyrics that reflected the growing media speculation (bordering on certainty) that Leno would soon be forced to give his spot to Fallon.
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
The unstated irony of this little song is that, at least in West Side Story, one of those singers ends up dead. Now we know which one.
Well, actually, Leno is very much alive, but – after a few nights that saw his ratings rise, partly due to his irritated jabs at NBC – the Tonight throne will now be inherited by Fallon, 38.
Reports have speculated this is the fallout of ABC’s decision to position 45-year-old Jimmy Kimmel as a sort of 11:30 p.m. youth wedge between Leno and The Late Show’s David Letterman (on CBS).
Kimmel doesn’t strike me as having an especially youthful temperament, but up against Leno, 62, and Letterman, 65, he’s like Taylor Lautner vs. Sean Connery vs. Clint Eastwood.