JERUSALEM — After two decades of hosting “The Tonight Show,” Jay Leno says his transition into retirement has been seamless.

Without the daily grind of hosting NBC’s popular late-night show, Leno said he feels “liberated” to travel and invest more in his standup routines.

“Write joke. Tell joke. Get check. It’s pretty simple. It’s not a hard plan,” he joked in an interview with The Associated Press.

This week he made his first trip to Israel, where he will host an award ceremony Thursday honoring former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg for his philanthropic efforts.

Leno is to perform in front of Bloomberg, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other dignitaries at the first Genesis Prize ceremony in Jerusalem. Leno said both men would be fair game for playful jokes.

The 64-year-old Leno retired in February and was replaced by former “Saturday Night Live” star Jimmy Fallon.

“He’s a great friend of mine and I think he is doing a terrific job,” Leno said Wednesday. “At some point you realize it is time to step down. … I’m having a good time now.”

Leno said the best part was not having the burden of preparing for the show every day.

“You don’t have to watch ‘Noah’ and all these other films, these kinds of kid movies. You get to a certain age where ‘OK, I’m over the superhero thing,’ ” he said. “I don’t have to do that anymore so that’s fantastic!”

He said he’d gladly be a guest on Fallon’s show but was not itching to get back into TV yet.