Fallon replaces Leno on ‘Tonight Show,’ but the joke’s on Letterman

Story highlights

NEW: New York Times media reporter Bill Carter says Leno was "on board with this"

Fallon will replace Leno in spring 2014

Leno first left the show in 2009 but returned after his new show failed

The new "Tonight Show" will also return to New York

CNN  — 

Do comedy writers share notes or do they just think alike?

On the day “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno announced he was passing the baton to Jimmy Fallon, he and an old rival shared nearly identical jokes on their late night shows.

In his opening monologue on Wednesday, Leno said it had been a tough day for him.

“Had a really awkward day today,” the late night host said in mock anguish. “Had to call David Letterman and tell him he didn’t get ‘The Tonight Show’ … again.”

At nearly the same instant on the “Late Show,” Letterman addressed his rival’s impending retirement.