Kevin Eubanks confirms he's leaving Jay Leno's side

jay-leno-kevin-eubanksImage Credit: Leno: NBC; Eubanks: Everett CollectionKevin Eubanks made it official during today’s taping of The Tonight Show by announcing he will leave the late night talk show in six weeks. Back in February, NBC confirmed that Eubanks was ready to step aside after serving 18 years as Jay Leno’s music director.

After doing his “Headlines” segment, Leno called Eubanks to the couch and announced how “we have one more headline to get to and it involves our very own Kevin Eubanks.”

“After 18 years, I just need a change of pace and see what else is going on,” Eubanks said. ” But it’s a really difficult decision because this has become my second home, as it has been for the band, and I love the audience and the American people really love the show and it’s been a wonderful experience to be here.”

“It has been a pleasure,” Leno said.  “You’ve been a great friend and really supportive.  When those jokes die, I gotta look to you man.”

“I thought about this and it wasn’t that difficult,” replied Eubanks. ” After 18 years of playing America in to commercials, I’m gonna go somewhere where I can finish a song.”

Comments (49 total) Add your comment
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  • fairweatherfrnd

    As long as he doesn’t steal Max Weinberg…

    • Kyle

      Weinberg has actually already approached Leno, not the other way around.

      • Chris


  • a

    I guess Jay has to look to him an awful lot then….

    • HD


  • SpaghettiCat

    How awesome would it be if he went to Conan’s show!! Bitchslap

  • Kevin


    • Not Moby

      You mean “BAZINGA”.

      • sam

        i like it.

  • Mac

    So how many days will it be until he changes his mind, and NBC offers him a prime-time show? ;)

    • David

      I heard he wants to play quarterback for the Vikings (but only if he can skip training camp).

  • THX

    Nobody cares.

  • Butters

    Good move Kevin!

  • Cris

    Now if only Jay would follow …

  • Adwina Lambert

    come and let’s finish the song brown sugah! tee-hee!

  • Amber

    Love the guy. Very classy.

  • Lin McKay

    Good for Kevin. Knew the earlier statements were true and he just stuck around a month or so to help his friend, Leno. I wish Jay would take the same road and leave and beging something new . . . like retirement.

  • Athena

    Boo-hoo…I hate that he is leaving. The networks heads are out of their minds. Not watching without Keven!

  • Eubanks nabs guest spot on LOST

    That’s him! No doubt about it.

  • ConradR

    “I just need a change of pace and see what else is going on…” hahaha, you had a good gig going, and now you leaving for what!? Dumb move Kevin

    • @ConradR

      This is kinda like what happened with Tony on “Ellen” (her DJ)

      He left a few years ago to pursue an “acting career”…it obviously didn’t work, and then he came back to her show a few years later. Wouldn’t be surprised if the same happened with Kevin eventually.

      • kumulus

        Same thing happened with Andy Richter.
        Sorry to see Kevin go, I like him. Will be interesting to see who replaces him. And just for the record, in order to counteract some of the Jay hate, I LOVE Jay! Don’t ever leave, Jay! You’re my “go to” talk show every night! (P. S. Love Conan, too.)

      • Ice

        I’m sure Kevin has an open door if he decides to comeback.

        I really like Kevin. He’s funny, cool and just a good guy. He is my fav. band leader (Max is cool too), the perfect complement.
        Good luck to his future endeavors.

      • Erik

        Kevin had a very successful career as a jazz musician way before the Tonight Show. I saw him in concert in 1987 in Detroit. I imagine that he is going back to his first love being a jazz virtuoso.

  • justin

    I remember during the 96 olympics, Jay would drag the band out for five minutes to do jokes every night. Wasn’t really needed. But wahtever. J

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