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Jay Leno Celebrates 20 Years with NBC

Lately, NBC has been advertising Jay Leno celebrating 20 years at NBC, which is not entirely accurate. He has been with NBC for more than 20 years, the first few were spent as permanent guest host of The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. NBC should be saying Leno has been hosting The Tonight Show for 20 years. Wait, that’s not right either, even though NBC wants to be able to insist otherwise. In reality, Leno has been regularly hosting a nightly talk show for 20 years: 19 years as host of The Tonight Show, 5 months as host of The Jay Leno Show.

Let’s be honest. It is impressive that Leno has been on the air for 20 years, but there is a huge segment of the population that holds a grudge against him. They are the ones who will always remember that Conan O’Brien hosted The Tonight Show for 7 months, which NBC would rather forget. They are the very reason Team Coco exists and Conan is now happy on TBS.

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