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People in the news

Fallon exits ‘Late Night,’ headed for ‘Tonight’

It’s not so much “goodbye” as “on break.”

With Jimmy Fallon’s departure Friday from “Late Night” after five years in the host chair, he will be off NBC’s airwaves a scant 10 days before coming back as host of “The Tonight Show,” which Jay Leno left Thursday after 22 years.

“I’m really going to miss being on TV at 12:37,” Fallon joked in his farewell monologue, noting that his “fierce rivals” have been CBS host Craig Ferguson “and a Veggie-Chopper infomercial.”

But if he was overjoyed at his promotion to an earlier slot – and he radiated joy all through the finale – at the same time, he could hardly keep his tear ducts in check.

“I’m not gonna cry,” he vowed early on, “but I’m gonna get really close.”

“You got to pull it together,” teased his guest, fellow “Saturday Night Live” alum Andy Samberg. “You got to man up.”

“ ‘Irish Wuss’ was my nickname in high school,” replied Fallon.

During his monologue, he got nostalgic.

Since premiering in March 2009, he spun out 10,000 jokes, he announced, all of which he proceeded to sum up as: “Joe Biden needed Obamacare after Anthony Weiner texted Justin Bieber a picture of Chris Christie dating a Kardashian on the Jersey shore with Rob Ford.”

The hour ended with a big musical number: Fallon on drums and singing the Band classic “The Weight,” accompanied by a large ensemble of Muppets.

– Associated Press

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