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Friday January 24, 2014 4:28 pm

Jay Leno “Blindsided” by ‘Tonight Show’ Boot

Jay LenoJay Leno says he was "blindsided" when he was asked to leave The Tonight Show.

The 63 -year-old talk show host felt like he had been dumped by a girlfriend during his spat with NBC producers, who announced in 2004 that he would be leaving the show and replaced him with Conan O'Brien four years later.

During an interview with 60 Minutes set to air Sunday, Jay recalled, "I was blindsided ... [NBC executives said] 'You're out...' and I went, 'OK.' You know, you have a girl [who] says, 'I don't want to see you any more.' 'Why?' 'You know, she doesn't want to see you any more, OK?'"

Jay - who was later given his own primetime series The Jay Leno Show, which aired from September 2009 to February 2010 - believes he was unfairly deemed a villain when NBC asked him to resume his role on The Tonight Show to replace Conan, who quit after seven months following poor ratings. "I didn't quite understand that, but I never chose to answer any of those things or make fun of any other people involved, it's not my way," he said.

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