Jay Leno is coming back to NBC.
The longtime Tonight Show host, who retired last year, will be making his return as a comic mentor on Last Coming Standing. In the episode, five comics are flown to Las Vegas to meet a surprise guest, who turns out to be Leno.
Jay goes on to share stories and offer some help to the comedians, including some personalized advice on their stand-up routines.
After spending more than 20 years hosting The Tonight Show, Leno said he has been enjoying retirement and taking advantage of his free time to do some traveling. He’s also been working on his own stand-up routines.
“Write joke. Tell joke. Get check. It’s pretty simple. It’s not a hard plan,” he joked in an interview with The Associated Press.
Leno has also picked up some major accolades, when it was announced that he will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, the highest honor given to comedians.
The Mark Twain Prize executive producer Cappy McGarr explained, “Leno and Twain both have turned humor into a national conversation and a national conversation into humor, and I’m also quite confident they drove the same car.”
“You know, we receive bad news every day, and it’s important for us to keep our humor intact, as difficult as that might be. And thank goodness Jay has contributed to our American humor for a generation and made us keep things in perspective.”
Earlier this year, Leno also traveled to Israel to perform for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other dignitaries at the first Genesis Prize ceremony in Jerusalem.
Though there was some animosity when Jay Leno was originally given Tonight Show hosting duties over David Letterman, and again when he passed the reins to Conan O’Brien, only to return to the job a few months later, Jay said he’s nothing but happy for his newest replacement, Jimmy Fallon.
“He’s a great friend of mine and I think he is doing a terrific job,” Leno said. “At some point you realize it is time to step down… I’m having a good time now.”
Despite his appearance on Last Comic Standing, Jay Leno said he’s not too eager to get back onto television full-time. Leno did say he might make a return to the Tonight Show if Fallon invited him —- as a guest.
[Image Via NBC TV]