NEW YORK (AP) -- Jimmy Fallon's kindergarten yearbook at St. Mary of the Snow in Saugerties, N.Y., listed him as "most likely to take over for David Letterman." Letterman's going nowhere, but close enough: Fallon is succeeding Conan O'Brien as the host of NBC's "Late Night" sometime in the middle of next year. NBC on Monday made official a plan that's been talked about since 2003, when a network executive first broached the idea of doing a talk show with the former "Saturday Night Live" star.
"I've been doing a monologue in my living room the last three years and it was embarrassing," Fallon joked at a news conference.
However, he said, "my wife seemed to like it."
NBC's plan is to have O'Brien move west to take over for Jay Leno at the "Tonight" show next year. After a break to refurbish the Rockefeller Center studio where O'Brien now works, the 33-year-old Fallon will take over.
The Fallon transition is being managed by Lorne Michaels, who famously picked O'Brien out of obscurity to fill Letterman's old slot at NBC, then stuck with him despite savage early reviews.
Fallon, a former "SNL" cast member who has acted in movies the past few years, should have an easier time of it, he said.
"You're never really certain of these things, but I just think he's built for it," Michaels said. "You've just seen that he's really funny, he's smart and he has a really, really good work ethic."