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After 22 years, Leno bids farewell to 'Tonight'

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After 22 years, Leno bids farewell to 'Tonight'

Post by Admin on Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:41 pm

The Associated Press ‏@AP  · 2h  
Jay Leno ends 22-year run as "Tonight Show" host; Billy Crystal to be his final guest:
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After 22 years, Leno bids farewell to 'Tonight'
By LYNN ELBER

Feb. 6, 2014

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This Nov. 5, 2012 photo released by NBC shows Jay Leno, host of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," on the set in Burbank, Calif. After 22 years, Leno will host his last show on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014. Jimmy Fallon starts his NBC "Tonight Show" on Feb. 17, 2014, from New York. (AP Photo/NBC, Paul Drinkwater)

BURBANK, Calif. (AP) — Jay Leno said farewell to "The Tonight Show" once before, but that turned out to be just a rehearsal.

On Thursday, Leno is stepping down for the second and presumably last time, making way for successor Jimmy Fallon in New York. When Leno gave up the venerable show to short-lived host Conan O'Brien in 2009, he did a prime-time NBC comedy series before reclaiming "Tonight" in 2010.

This time, Leno's out the door.

"When we left in '09 we were going to the 10 o'clock show, so there wasn't the same sort of finality to it," said "Tonight" executive producer Debbie Vickers as the program counted down toward its last taping in its Burbank home.

"It's going to be difficult to not come in and do a show every day for our audience who has been so great to Jay. ... And also hard for this group of people (the staff) who have all been together for 22 years," said Vickers, who worked on Johnny Carson's "Tonight" before taking the top job with Leno.

Leno, 63, said he plans to continue playing comedy clubs, indulging his passion for cars and doing such TV work as comes his way — other than hosting on late-night.

"It's been a wonderful job. This is the right time to leave," he said last week, and make way for the next generation.

Fallon, 39, starts his "Tonight" Feb. 17, with NBC hoping he rides the promotional wave of its Winter Olympics coverage the next two weeks.

Billy Crystal was set to help close out Leno's run, the second-longest for a "Tonight" host next to Carson's 30 years. The actor-comedian was Leno's first guest in 1992, and Leno told him he wanted him to be his final one.

Garth Brooks will appear as well, along with surprises being kept under wraps. The 2009 farewell ended with Leno filling the stage with the many children born to the longtime staffers of "Tonight," an indication of the pride Leno takes in being a loyal boss.

How can he top that?

"In the last segment, Jay will say goodbye to our viewers," Vickers said. "He has some closing thoughts he's putting together."

During his 2009 finale, Leno showed some of his favorite comedy bits and made cracks about favorite subjects, including former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and NBC, the network that shuffled him around. James Taylor, the only featured celebrity, performed "Sweet Baby James."

Leno's late-night competitors aren't stepping aside for his final bow.

ABC's Jimmy Kimmel, who was harshly critical of Leno when O'Brian lost "Tonight," has the A-list cast of the new film "The Monuments Men," including George Clooney, Matt Damon and Bill Murray.

On CBS, David Letterman's "Late Show" will continue its musical tributes to the upcoming 50th anniversary of The Beatles' appearance on CBS' "The Ed Sullivan Show." Sean Lennon, son of the late John Lennon, will perform a Beatles tune with The Flaming Lips.

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Personal note: The end of another era. I cannot believe Leno was on the Tonight Show for 22 years! He came after Johnny Carson who was on all throughout my lifetime. I saw a few minutes of his show last night when Sandra Bullock was his guest (love her) and she was emotional thanking him for the years of his kindness toward her when she went through difficult times in her personal life when so many others were not nice and ridiculed her. It was a moment to be sure. I will be sure to watch his last show tonight with Billy Crystal.

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Re: After 22 years, Leno bids farewell to 'Tonight'

Post by Admin on Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:02 pm

I watched Jay Leno's farewell from his 22 years on The Tonight Show and it was so sweet! Lots of standing "O's" and a very heartfelt speech at the end of the show when Jay said goodbye. Tears were falling - will miss him!

I love Jimmy Fallon BUT I am not sure about him taking over the show. I think Jay should have stayed at least 5 more years. I think Fallon is too young and should be doing other things he is really great doing. Johnny Carson was on for 30 years before he passed the torch (as the #1 ever) and Jay is #1 in this genre to this day - well he is going out on the top which is a classy way to exit. Still... I wish he would have stayed longer.


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An Emotional Jay Leno Bids Goodbye to ‘Tonight’

Post by Admin on Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:09 pm

An Emotional Jay Leno Bids Goodbye to ‘Tonight’
By ALESSANDRA STANLEY

FEB. 7, 2014

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Jay Leno tapped Billy Crystal, his very first guest in 1992, to be his last. Kevin Scanlon for The New York Times

Johnny Carson’s departure from the “Tonight” show was an abdication. Jay Leno’s last show, on Thursday, was closer to a retirement party -- a bittersweet send-off for a loyal executive pushed out after 22 years.

“It’s fun to kind of be the old guy and sit back here and see where the next generation takes this great institution,” Mr. Leno said about his successor, Jimmy Fallon. More gamely than convincingly, he added, “But it really is time to go and hand it off to the next guy, it really is.”

Ratings in the last week soared, but it wasn’t that audiences were anticipating a train wreck or a cultural milestone. Many viewers weren’t feeling loss so much as pinpricks of projected anxiety: Mr. Leno’s emotional last bow was poignant not because he is a legendary figure who can never be replaced, but because he is the nice guy who worked really hard, did a great job and will barely be missed come Monday morning.

Jay Leno, who will leave the “Tonight” show on Thursday after 22 years, with Jimmy Fallon, who will take over his desk.

Subdued Send-Off, but Jay Leno Is Exiting on Top
FEB. 5, 2014

Newer viewers were like the younger employees down the hall who barely know the retiree, but are still drawn to the drama of a forced exit, and also the free champagne and cake. For his older, longtime fans — his audience’s median age is 57.8 — there was a there-but-for-the-grace-of God frisson: Mr. Leno, 63, is such a familiar fixture of network television that his last hurrah became a dreaded rite of passage, an acting out of people’s deepest fears about their own obsolescence. (That could be the reason David Letterman, 66, of CBS put aside his longstanding grudge against Mr. Leno and congratulated his rival on “a wonderful run.”)

It happens to almost everyone. Thursday night, it was Mr. Leno’s turn. He tapped Billy Crystal, his very first guest in 1992, to be his last, and asked his favorite singer, country star Garth Brooks, to perform. And he smiled through skits and cameos by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Carol Burnett and Kim Kardashian about his departure. (President Obama paid his respects in a taped message.) Mr. Crystal led what he called the Shut Your Von Trapp Family Singers in a parody of a “Sound of Music “song reworded in his honor.

“There a sad sort of clanging
From the clock in the hall
And the bells in the steeple too
And all the executives that run NBC
Are popping in to say you’re through.”

Mr. Leno let his feelings flow only at the very end, and this time, he didn’t make any of the kinds of jokes about NBC that dotted his last week at the network. “I didn’t know anybody over there,” he said, explaining why he never went to Fox or ABC. Choking up, he added, “These are the only people I’ve ever known.”

Onstage, Mr. Leno was the most accessible talk show host, the kind of comedian who will always do another set or pose for one more snapshot with fans. He started his show every night by wading into a crowd of audience members and shaking hands – or rather pulling hands like a Swiss bell ringer. His jokes weren’t cutting edge, and his references were sometimes dated: in his last days he made cracks about O.J. Simpson and Kathie Lee Gifford in her Carnival cruise days.

He was unfailingly gracious to Mr. Fallon, who was his guest on Monday night and and made a cameo again on Thursday, inviting Mr. Leno to come back to “Tonight” anytime. (Mr. Fallon takes over Feb. 17.) But in the run-up to Mr. Leno’s last show, he didn’t let up on NBC, which replaced him with Conan O’Brien in 2009, and had to reinstate him a year later after Mr. O’Brien flopped. “I read today that NBC said they would like me to be just like Bob Hope: dead,” he joked earlier this week.

Some in the studio audience, taken aback, moaned. “I don’t care, I like that joke,” Mr. Leno replied.

Throughout his tenure, Mr. Leno was both friendly and oddly impersonal: he was a skilled joke teller who didn’t let down his guard or his hair. He wore dark suits and delivered his monologue framed by somber wood paneling and potted plants, a décor better suited to a personal injury law firm.

So when that veneer of blithe professional bonhomie finally dissolved, it was touching and disconcerting to see him shakily say, “This has been the greatest 22 years of my life.” Mr. Crystal noted, “More than anyone I know, you love being a comedian.” And certainly, few have pursued the career so single-mindedly. Mr. Crystal reminded his host than when he was an aspiring comedian in the 1970s, the only decorative touch in his apartment was a poster of comedian Robert Klein over Mr. Leno’s bed.

A farewell tribute on television has its advantages: the honoree gets to listen in on eulogies and witness a preview of the funeral. But there is also a cost: Mr. Leno will be around the next day to see how quickly the mourners mop their tears and the cortege moves on.

That’s perhaps why he chose to quote his predecessor Johnny Carson, who left his audience with the words, “I bid you all a heartfelt goodnight.” It’s not as unnervingly final as goodbye.

Correction: February 7, 2014  
An earlier version of this column misstated the median age of Jay Leno’s audience. It was 57.8 years, not 47.5.

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Jay Leno's Heartfelt Goodbye - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno - Youtube

Post by Admin on Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:14 pm

Jay Leno's Heartfelt Goodbye - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno - youtube

Published on Feb 7, 2014  

Jay Leno takes a bow after 22 years of hosting The Tonight Show. Garth Brooks who is a great friend closed the show for Jay.


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Go to the YT to see the 1000's of comments posted already! Lots of LOVE for Jay!!


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Re: After 22 years, Leno bids farewell to 'Tonight'

Post by Admin on Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:23 pm

There is a poll on a CBS news story about JL's departure which has him winning:

I voted of course!

Jay Leno  70.48%  
Jimmy Fallon  29.52%  

You never know-if Fallon is a bust-JL may be asked to come back (again) like when NBC threw him out for Conan O'Brian who failed miserably! I doubt it though. He left for good I think this time. I think Billy Crystal would be a GREAT Tonight Show host. Bet they asked him before Fallon and he turned them down! lol


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Re: After 22 years, Leno bids farewell to 'Tonight'

Post by Admin on Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:31 pm

More videos including Jay's last monologue:

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Another story with videos:

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Re: After 22 years, Leno bids farewell to 'Tonight'

Post by Capricious Anomaly on Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:49 pm

I watched Jay L too. TY for posting all this here admin. He did deserve a much better send off but that is typical treatment from NBC toward him. That is so ridiculous as they made so much money with him hosting all those years! They are such lefties too. Never report news that is fair imo. I wish the Oly's were on any other channel tbh.
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