Jay Leno, the once and future host of “The Tonight Show,” will emcee the White House Correspondents Assn. dinner.
The Washington Post reports that the org asked Leno weeks ago to host, before the blowup of his primetime show and Conan O’Brien’s departure from “Tonight.”
The selection of Leno is a much more mainstream choice, after Wanda Sykes created some waves with some of her jokes in her appearance last year. It’s not quite like going from Stephen Colbert to Rich Little, but it’s a sign the org is going for safety versus creating a stir.
It’ll also come as Leno’s bosses at NBC U are in the midst of their merger with Comcast, which needs the approval of federal regulators. And NBC U’s Jeff Zucker and Comcast’s Brian Roberts are scheduled to appear before a Senate antitrust subcommittee on Feb. 4 to testify about the pact.