Jay Leno on Leaving The Tonight Show: 'I Can Go Out on a School Night'

01/29/2014 at 03:00 PM EST

Jay Leno on Leaving The Tonight Show: 'I Can Go Out on a School Night'
Jay Leno and Ellen DeGeneres
Michael Rozman/ Warner Bros.
There's one thing Jay Leno is looking forward to doing when he leaves The Tonight Show on Feb. 6 – going out on a weeknight instead of staying home and working on the following day's monologue.

"I can go out on a school night, which I've never been able to do," he said during an interview set to air on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Wednesday. "I've never been out in 22 years on a Wednesday night. It's like, 'Oh you're doing something wrong. You have to go home and write jokes every single night.' "

While he's 63, Leno isn't retiring anytime soon. Instead he's going back to his roots as a stand-up comedian.

"I finish [The Tonight Show] on Thursday and hit the road on Friday. I've got a bunch of one-nighters," he told Ellen DeGeneres. "I like doing stand-up ... that's fun."



Leno left The Tonight Show in 2009, when Conan O'Brien took over, only to return the following year. But this time he says he's going for good.

"Last time I was told [to leave], this time I was asked, so that's a bit different," he said.

And he said that he plans to watch his replacement, Jimmy Fallon.

"He's going to do terrific because, I mean, there really is a true generation gap," he said. "He's 23 years younger than I am and, you know, he knows the music he knows ... When I see him do a dance number with Justin Timberlake, well, I can't do that. I get it."





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