Conan Replaces Jay

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 28, 2004 | Go to article overview

Conan Replaces Jay


Byline: Scott Galupo, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Conan replaces Jay

Associated Press

NBC announced yesterday that Conan O'Brien will take over from Jay Leno as host of the "Tonight" show.

He'll have time to write his jokes - the planned succession won't happen until 2009.

The announcement solves a delicate problem for NBC, which realized Mr. O'Brien was getting antsy in his "Late Night" time slot (12:35 a.m. EST) and wanted to keep him from jumping to another network.

"In 2009, I'll be 59 years old and will have had this dream job for 17 years," Mr. Leno said. "When I signed my new contract, I felt that the timing was right to plan for my successor, and there is no one more qualified than Conan."

"Plus, I promised Mavis I would take her out for dinner before I turned 60," the notoriously workaholic Mr. Leno said about his wife.

The prominent-jawed Mr. Leno took over from Johnny Carson on "Tonight" in 1992. After a few years of trailing the man he beat out for the job in the ratings - David Letterman - he has since passed the CBS star and has been dominant in the late-night time slot.

Dances with rings

Actor Kevin Costner married his (much younger) girlfriend, Christine Baumgartner, last weekend in a ceremony set against a backdrop of snowcapped mountains at his ranch in Aspen, Colo.

Mr. Costner, 49, and Miss Baumgartner, 30, who, according to Reuters, designs handbags, have been engaged since June 2003. It's the second marriage for Mr. Costner and the first for Miss Baumgartner.

Stayin' alive

John Travolta says Shirley MacLaine, Jessica Lange and Meryl Streep all have something in common, and he's hoping the same holds true for him."Some of their best roles have come in their 40s and 50s," he told the Hollywood Reporter after appearing on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

"The one good thing about getting older is that there is more of a variety of opportunities. You can fit more niches than you could before - there are these areas and nooks and crannies that open up," Mr. …

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