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Jay Leno talks Conan O’Brien on ‘60 Minutes’

From left: Julie Michaud, Jay Leno, and Patrice Vinci.

From left: Julie Michaud, Jay Leno, and Patrice Vinci.

In an exit interview of sorts with “60 Minutes,” Jay Leno says he was shocked when NBC decided in 2009 to replace with him Conan O’Brien. “I was blindsided . . . [NBC executives said] ‘You’re out. . .’ and I went ‘OK,’ ” the “Tonight Show” host tells Steve Kroft in a segment that includes a brief tour of Leno’s hometown of Andover. The comedian, who’s rarely talked about the O’Brien imbroglio, also says it upset him to be portrayed as the bad guy when NBC yanked Conan. “I didn’t quite understand that, but I never chose to answer any of those things or make fun of any other people involved,” he says. “It’s not my way.” In the segment, airing Sunday, Leno admits he’d like to continue as “Tonight Show” host, but thinks Jimmy Fallon is a worthy successor. “It’s not my decision, and I think I probably would have stayed if we didn’t have an extremely qualified, young guy ready to jump in. [Fallon] is probably more like a young Johnny [Carson] than almost anybody since. And he’s really good. So you go with the new guy. Makes perfect sense to me.” If Leno looks well-coiffed in the interview that’s because beforehand he spent some time with Newbury Street stylist Patrice Vinci and Prettyology’s Julie Michaud.

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