Leno falls ill before Thursday's show

Thursday and Friday tapings of “The Tonight Show” were canceled after host Jay Leno became ill and was taken to a hospital, NBC said Thursday afternoon.

His condition is not considered serious; Leno was said to have told others that he was suffering from food poisoning. He was admitted to Providence St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Burbank and feeling “fine,” according to an NBC spokesperson, who expected Leno would return to work Monday.

Leno is entering his final weeks as host of “Tonight.” His tenure ends May 29, to be followed by his groundbreaking move to 10 p.m. weeknights in the fall that stands as the linchpin for NBC’s primetime future.

The notion of the indefatigable Leno missing any of his tapings comes as a surprise, given that his work ethic has become almost as much of a calling card as his comedy. Leno eliminated the longstanding tradition of guest hosts on “Tonight,” and none was considered for this latest circumstance.

Scheduled guests for Thursday’s show were Ryan Reynolds, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and wildlife expert Jules Sylvester, while Friday was to feature Jennifer Aniston, Jamey Johnson and football star Santonio Holmes. NBC said repeat episodes would air in their place.

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