Jay Leno bid farewell to his loyal audience and thanked Michael Jackson and Bill Clinton for providing him with monologues.
Friday, May 29 marked the end of Jay Leno's 17-year run as the host of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno". On his final episode, Leno kicked it off by thanking all the people "who made it possible", and that include the personalities who have provided him with materials to talk about such as Monica Lewinsky, Bill Clinton, and Michael Jackson.
Upon entering the stage, Leno was welcomed with a long-standing ovation. Then he made some jokes related to his departure from the show, as well as the move to 10 P.M. slot. "I'm going to be going to a secluded spot where no one can find me - NBC prime time," Leno said. "It's a gamble. I'm betting NBC will still be around in three months, but that's not a given." He added that he had cleaned out his office, and found O.J. Simpson's knife. "I had it the whole time!" he joked.
Leno, who kept his poise with no choke-up, recalled his time on the show, saying "When we started the show, my hair was black and the president was white." The episode also saw Leno introducing a new segment, "White Trash Theater," which showed a clip of a woman throwing beer bottles at a man to get him off her porch. Leno also noted that he's "not really leaving" for he will be back in September after a break in the summer.
People had been lining up for tickets, some even camped out, to be present inside the studio in order to witness the historic moment. Audience included Leno's wife Mavis, singer/songwriter James Taylor and his successor, Conan O'Brien.
In related news, NBC has just announced the schedule for "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien", noting that it will begin June 1 with Will Ferrell and Pearl Jam as guests. The schedule is as follow:
- Monday, June 1: Will Ferrell and musical guest Pearl Jam
- Tuesday, June 2: Tom Hanks and musical guest Green Day
- Wednesday, June 3: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Bradley Cooper and musical guest Sheryl Crow
- Thursday, June 4: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joel McHale and musical guest John Mayer Trio
- Friday, June 5: Ryan Seacrest and musical guest Chickenfoot
- Monday, June 8: David Duchovny and Anna Friel
- Tuesday, June 9: Norm MacDonald and musical guest Bonnie Raitt & Taj Mahal
- Wednesday, June 10: Dane Cook, Steven Ho and musical guest Rancid
- Thursday, June 11: Jim Gaffigan and musical guest Neko Case
- Friday, June 12: Jamie Foxx, Kevin Nealon and music by Jamie Foxx