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Hey, Jimmy Fallon -- Burbank isn't good enough for you?

March 21, 2013 |  8:33 am

It may be the end of an era, but does anyone really care whether “The Tonight Show” stays in Burbank?

Robin AbcarianAccording to the Times’ Joe Flint, after Jay Leno retires sometime in the next couple of years, his planned successor, Jimmy Fallon, will want to stay in New York City, where NBC has confirmed it plans to build him a new studio. 

What, Burbank not good enough for you, Jimmy?

PHOTOS: Classic 'Tonight Show' moments

Of course, it wasn’t really good enough for NBC either, which moved most of its operations to Universal City a few years ago. 

When Conan O’Brien had his brief, unhappy stint as “Tonight Show” host, he broadcast from the Universal location. But at least Coco moved from New York to take the job.

After Leno engineered his return to the late-night slot, however, he opted to stay in Burbank, and NBC leased a couple of studios for him.

It was the beloved but inscrutable Johnny Carson who first brought the “Tonight Show” west from New York in 1972. After he retired in 1992, he holed up in Malibu until his death in 2005.

It was Carson who gets credit for popularizing the phrase “beautiful downtown Burbank,” which had first been used on “Laugh-In,” the comedy variety show that launched many careers, including that of a very giggly Goldie Hawn.

Back in 2007, when NBC moved to Universal, then-Burbank Mayor Marsha Ramos told the Times it was a sad moment for her city. "'The Tonight Show’ put us on the map,” she said. “Without that line from Johnny Carson … most people wouldn’t even know that we exist. When ‘The Tonight Show’ leaves, there will be a portion of our heart that will be empty.”

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-- Robin Abcarian

Twitter: @robinabcarian

Email: robin.abcarian@latimes.com

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