Emotional Jay Leno Bids Farewell to 'Tonight Show' in Star-Studded Episode
Jay Leno has bid farewell to "Tonight Show" for the second time. On Thursday, February 6, some stars made surprise appearances on his final show, joining announced guests Billy Crystal and Garth Brooks to pay tribute to the longtime host.
After a sit-down with Crystal, the likes of Kim Kardashian, Sheryl Crow, Jim Parsons, Oprah Winfrey, Chris Paul and Carol Burnett surprised Leno with a rendition of "Sound of Music" parody. "So long, farewell, tonight I told my folks," Kim sang, "and now, I won't be the butt of Leno's jo-okes." Black continued, "So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye. If Fallon tanks, you'll be back here next year."
President Barack Obama, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Charlie Sheen, Bob Costas and his successor Jimmy Fallon even delivered pre-recorded farewells to Leno. "Jay, you've made a whole lot of jokes about me over the years, but don't worry, I'm not upset," President Obama said, adding that he was making Leno the U.S. ambassador to Antarctica. "Hope you have a warm coat, man."
In his final monologue, Leno pointed out how things had changed since he first hosted the show 22 years ago. "When I started hosting, Justin Bieber wasn't even born yet. That's why we call those the good ol' days," he jokingly said. "When I started hosting, marijuana was illegal and you could smoke cigarettes anywhere you wanted."
When it's time to say goodbye, the 63-year-old choked up as he said, "Boy, this is the hard part. I want to thank you - the audience. You folks have been just incredibly loyal and... this is tricky...We wouldn't be on the air without you people. Secondly, this has been the greatest 22 years of my life."
He also recalled how he "was pretty much out of family" after losing his mother, his father and his brother, but then "the folks here became my family." He added, "I am the luckiest guy in the world. I got to meet presidents and astronauts and movie stars. It's just been incredible."
Leno then asked musical guest Brooks to "liven up the room" with his rendition of "Friends in Low Places". After the performance, Leno ended the night by telling the audience, "Watch Jimmy Fallon! Thanks, folks. See you later! I'm coming home, honey!"
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