And the countdown begins — Jay Leno‘s last night on The Tonight Show will be Friday, May 29, 2009.

The beloved talk show host will take his final bow on that date, Marc Graboff, co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, announced at the TCAs.

The following Monday, June 1, will see successor Conan O’Brien debut as the iconic late night talk show’s fifth host, Marc said.

Jay made an impromptu appearance during the NBC executive press conference today at the Television Critics Association gathering in Beverly Hills. Dressed up to look bald, Jay, who inherited Johnny Carson‘s hosting reins on May 25, 1992, asked a few faux questions, then left.

"He’s a class act," Marc said.

More seriously, however, rumors have flown that Jay will leave NBC because he’s not pleased about being replaced by Conan.

"We’re still talking to Jay about staying with NBC Universal," Marc insisted.

But regarding the Tonight Show, Conan was and still is their guy. "We’ve made our decision."

Sound off in the comments below!

Join the conversation