After 22 years hosting The Tonight Show, Jay Leno is handing over the seat to Jimmy Fallon. For his final show last night, Leno was joined by some of the biggest celebrities in the game, who all stopped by to wish him well and say peace out.
Leno gave a tearful goodbye, revealing how much fun he had doing the show and naming it the best 22 years of his entire life.
“I got to met presidents, astronauts, movies stars it’s just been incredible,” he said.
During Leno’s speech, he unveiled a very personal story about how the crew of The Tonight Show became his family:
“First year of this show I lost my mom, the second year I lost my dad, then my brother died, and after that I was pretty much out of family and the folks here became my family, then the folks here became my family.”
He also spoke about being there for his crew when they were going through rough times, before giving props to his predecessor and replacement.
“I’m real excited for Jimmy Fallon. It’s fun to kind of be the old guy and sit back here and see where the next generation takes this great institution. I’m so glad that I got to be apart of it, but it really is time to go, hand it off to the next guy. In closing I want to quote Johnny Carson, who really was the greatest guy to ever do this job. ‘I bid you all a heartfelt goodbye.'”
After bringing the emotional mood of the show, Leno passed it off to Garth Brooks for a musical number, but the country music star wasn’t the only one to spit some bars for Leno.
Billy Crystal remixed the classic “So Long, Farewell” from The Sound of Music with the help of Kim Kardashian, Chris Paul, Oprah and many more.
Leno’s longtime rival Jimmy Kimmel even paid his respects:
Issues aside, 20 years at #1 is a remarkable achievement. Congratulations and best wishes to @jayleno on an incredible run
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) February 6, 2014
Farewell, Leno. You’ll be missed.