Four years into Jimmy Fallon’s run as the host of NBC’s venerable The Tonight Show, there are no signs of the SNL vet’s talk show fatigue. Unfortunately, Fallon’s future shenanigans will happen without his longtime late-night writer and producer Mike DiCenzo, whose last episode as a Tonight Show creative aired on Monday night. What’s more, the network bosses have possibly found a replacement.
Initially with The Onion, Mike DiCenzo joined Jimmy Fallon’s squad in 2008, as the comedian was settling in to take the reins on NBC’s Late Night. When Fallon was tapped to replace Jay Leno on The Tonight Show in 2014, DiCenzo followed suit. For the more prominent gig, DiCenzo crafted viral segments like “Wheel of Musical Impressions,” so it was fitting that his last episode featured SNL‘s Melissa Villaseñor tackling a faux Post Malone cover of “Itsy Bitsy Spider.”
In a long Twitter thread marking his Tonight Show departure, Mike DiCenzo was very emotional about the career move, and was extremely grateful for everyone who helped him along the way. In his words:
It will certainly be interesting to see if Mike DiCenzo’s absence is immediately felt during The Tonight Show‘s upcoming episodes. Gerard Bradford and Katie Hockmeyer, the two producers who have been running The Tonight Show alongside DiCenzo since 2016, will remain in their current positions. Hockmeyer handles the production side of things, while Bradford leads the show’s creative front.
As far as Mike DiCenzo’s replacement goes, THR is reporting that former Tonight Show executive producer Jim Bell is in discussions to rejoin the late night staple. Bell is currently the president of production and programming for NBC’s Olympics coverage, and he’d be taking over EP and showrunner duties if his new Tonight Show deal works out.
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon airs weeknights on NBC at 11:30 p.m. ET. To see what else primetime has to offer, head to our fall TV premiere schedule.