Jimmy Fallon isn’t the only late-night star who’s looking forward to a new era on The Tonight Show. ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel, a noted critic of current host Jay Leno, seems almost as excited as Fallon himself, despite the fact that the change means the two will be going head-to-head in the same time slot next year. On Thursday, April 4, one day after Leno announced his departure, Kimmel sent Fallon and his crew a congratulatory lunch of sandwiches from New York’s famed 2nd Ave Deli.
“Thank you Jimmy Kimmel and staff for the 2nd Ave Deli lunch,” Fallon, 38, tweeted alongside a photo of the impressive spread. “Class act.”
Kimmel also sent a few kind words of support to his once and future competitor. “Congratulations to my dear, sweet @jimmyfallon — a formidable rival and an incredible lover,” he quipped on Twitter after news broke of the Saturday Night Live alum’s imminent promotion.
The gesture was indeed a warm one, especially in contrast with the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host’s cold attitude toward Leno. Kimmel has been very critical of the reigning Tonight Show star, telling Rolling Stone earlier this year that he “sold out.”
“As a comedian, you can’t not have disdain for what he’s done. He totally sold out. He was a master chef who opened a Burger King,” he told the magazine of Leno. Fallon, on the other hand, was deemed “a worthy competitor.”
As previously reported, Fallon will take over NBC’s Tonight Show from Leno, 62, who is set to end his 22-year run behind the desk in the spring of 2014. Speaking about the transition during his opening monologue on April 3, Leno joked about the challenges facing his successor.
“I want to congratulate our good friend Jimmy Fallon. He is a hell of a guy. He’s going to do a great job. I just have one request for Jimmy: We’ve all fought, kicked, and scratched, to get this network up to fifth place. Now we have to keep it there!” he quipped. “Jimmy, don’t let it slip into sixth! We are counting on you! We’re counting on you Jimmy.”
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