Brian Williams Wanted To Replace Jay Leno On ‘The Tonight Show’?

Brian Williams reportedly inquired about replacing Jay Leno as the host of The Tonight Show.

Jay Leno announced that he would be stepping down from his position as host back in 2013, and soon after, the Nightly News anchor set about lobbying for the comedy position.

New York Magazine, via the Daily Mail, have quoted a former colleague of Williams as saying that he was incredibly interested in the position, which ultimately went to former Saturday Night Live star Jimmy Fallon. However the the source refused to reveal their identity and has remained anonymous.

“Brian wants to be a late-night comedian. He traded on being Nightly News anchorman-war-reporter to ingratiate himself with Jimmy [Fallon], Lorne Michaels, and Jon Stewart.”

Yesterday’s revelation that Jon Stewart will be stepping down as the host of The Daily Show later this year means that another opportunity for Williams to try his hand at late night hosting has arisen.

And Williams currently has plenty of time to perfect his comedic timing and hosting skills, too. On Friday, it was announced by Deborah Turness, the NBC News president, that Williams is now on a six month leave without pay.

This suspension materialized after it emerged that Williams had lied about an Iraq War report he gave in 2003. Williams insisted that the helicopter he was in while situated with a troop was hit by an RPG, a rocket-propelled grenade.

Soldiers that were on-board the aircraft with him have since come out and explained that it was the helicopter in front of them that was hit, not theirs.

Numerous other reports by Williams are now being scrutinized, while his back-up anchor, Lester Holt, will fill in for Williams for the foreseeable future, with NBC executives hopeful that he could take on the role full-time.

Meanwhile, NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke has told the New York Magazine that Williams deserves a second chance, despite his indiscretion.

“He deserves a second chance and we are rooting for him. Brian has a shared his deep remorse with me and he is committed to winning back everyone’s trust.”

Williams’ future with NBC is still very much up in the air, though. Various colleagues believe that it will be impossible for him to continue in the role after this fiasco, and they believe that numerous other exaggerations could be revealed in the future.

However, he reportedly only signed a contract with the network worth $10 million a year as recently as December, 2014, which is set to complicate matters even further.

[Image via Headline Planet]