Comedian Jay Leno has been named official and exclusive designated hitter for Johnny Carson on the "Tonight" show.

Leno's contract as guest host for the 1988-89 season was announced, and this time he won't have to share host duties with Gary Shandling, who now has his own program on Fox Broadcasting.Brandon Tartikoff, president of NBC Entertainment, announced Leno's contract, saying: "Jay has one of the best comic minds working today and has already brought his own brand of excitement to the show on his Monday night guest hosting as well as during the weeks that he substitutes for Johnny Carson."

Carson's official and enigmatic comment: "Besides being extremely talented, Mr. Leno owns several motorcycles, which solves the transportation problem in case his car breaks down."