Jay Leno’s Final ‘Tonight’ Show
It was a mix of laughter and tears as, for the second time, Jay Leno said goodbye to the “Tonight Show”.
“I am the luckiest guy in the world. This is tricky,” an emotional Leno told his audience. He referred to the “Tonight Show” staff and crew as his family, revealing that he had lost his mother the first year he hosted “Tonight”, his father the next year and his brother the following year, saying, “And after that I was pretty much out of family. And the folks here became my family.”
A star-studded array of celebrities sent Leno off, including Billy Crystal and Garth Brooks, who were guests on his first show in 1992. Celebrities sent videotaped messages, including Mark Wahlberg and President Barack Obama.
“Jay, you’ve made a whole lot of jokes about me over the years, but don’t worry, I’m not upset,” said the President, who then announced that he was appointing Leno U.S. ambassador to Antarctica. “Hope you have a warm coat, man.”
Other celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Jack Black, Kim Kardashian, Carol Burnett and Jim Parsons performed a “Sound of Music” inspired musical salute to Leno on his last show.
Leno says he plans to continue working the comedy club circuit, working on his vast collection of cars and doing some occasional TV work.
Jimmy Fallon will succeed Leno as host of the “Tonight Show” Feb. 17 and will originate the show from New York for the first time since 1972.