Jay Leno will be reprise his hosting duties on “The Tonight Show” early next month, but his long time sidekick Kevin Eubanks has decided to take a break from the series. Today the internet has been buzzing with news that the musician won’t return to his old stomping grounds, and according to Extra it’s been confirmed that he’s no longer interested in playing Leno’s laughing partner.
Sources close to Eubanks are stating that he told NBC he wants to pursue other opportunities and “wanted a change.” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” will return on March 1st, but a replacement hasn’t been named for Eubanks just yet. He joined “The Tonight Show Band” back in 1992 and two years later became their leader and constant on air companion to Leno during his monologues.
What will they do now? Even Kevin wants off the show, should Jay and NBC take a hint from him? Promos are expected to air for the show’s return during the Winter Olympics, which may or may not win over viewers. If that wasn’t enough, they won’t be returning to the old “Tonight Show” studio either, instead they’ll film from the Burbank located sound-stage where Leno shot his failed 10pm series. Conan O’Brien’s old set is still standing, but unused and we’re hearing that NBC might revamp it for one of their upcoming TV shows.
What do you think about Kevin Eubanks’ decision to leave The Tonight Show? Should Jay take a hint and also throw in the towel? Who could replace Kevin?