With the change in hosts comes a change in locales.
According to a statement from NBC, "As part of the transition, 'The Tonight Show' will be returning to its original home in 30 Rock in New York" from Leno's base of Los Angeles.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised the move, saying in a statement "on behalf of all New Yorkers" that he's "pleased to welcome 'The Tonight Show' back to its first home."
When it began in 1954, the "original 'Tonight Show' ushered in the modern era of television," Cuomo continued. "It is only fitting that as 'The Tonight Show' returns to our state, it will be headlined by New York's own native son and resident, Jimmy Fallon."
Out with the old
At 62 years old, Leno represents a more traditional form of hosting, as he's known for his "Las Vegas-style comedy," said The New York Times.
Fallon, 38, regularly incorporates the Web and social media into his act, offering "a more contemporary and varied brand of entertainment," the Times said.
This changing of the guard is one of the most closely watched exercises in pop culture, especially as it takes place at one of TV's mainstay productions.
Even with its decline in ratings over the years, it remains a solid profit center for NBC, making between $25 million and $40 million for the network, according to The New York Times.
Although it's been on the air for almost 60 years, "The Tonight Show" has had just a handful of regular hosts: Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, Leno and O'Brien.
"The Tonight Show" isn't what it was during the long tenure of Carson, who hosted the show from 1962 until 1992.
In those three-network times, Carson dominated late-night TV like nobody before or since. He dominated the ratings and routinely sat down challengers like so many duck targets at a carnival shooting gallery. Joey Bishop, Dick Cavett, Joan Rivers, Pat Sajak -- they all tried to dethrone the king, and they all came up short.
Carson sat behind "Tonight's" desk for 30 years before passing the torch to Leno, and "Johnny" is still the model against whom all are measured.
"Late Night" producer Lorne Michaels, who's now executive producer of "The Tonight Show," has called Fallon "the closest thing" this generation has to Carson.
It appears it's now time for Fallon to show and prove.