Tell us it isn’t true. We cannot believe NBC is on the brink of moving “The Tonight Show” to the East Coast.
Where has the love gone? In the late 1960s, the network’s comedy show “Laugh-In” gently ribbed the Media City with the phrase “Beautiful Downtown Burbank,” coined by announcer Gary Owens. It became such a well-known catchphrase that Johnny Carson picked it up and used it on “The Tonight Show” after that production moved here in 1972.
Word of NBC’s plans to turn its back on this city got out this week. The network is looking at putting Jay Leno out to pasture and replacing him with Jimmy Fallon, whose show is produced in the Big Apple. And it could happen soon.
This is not good news for Burbank. We appreciate the tourist dollars that are attracted by the local studios and shows. We have residents whose livelihoods depend upon the show. Local service and retail businesses derive income from the patronage of the studios, production companies and employees.
Now is the time for Burbank civic leaders and community members to rise up and protest this move. Wipe away the tears and stand up for the show and its rightful place here. History has shown that loud outcries have a way of changing outcomes. Think big! Create banners, initiate letter-writing campaigns, maybe organize a “Beautiful Downtown Burbank” parade along Olive Avenue with Jay Leno as the grand marshal.
Isn’t a relationship of more than 40 years worth saving? You bet it is. Don’t just take it on the chin. ___
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