After 22 years on the thrown of late night television, Jay Leno from NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, parted ways with NBC despite leading primetime ratings.
After taking over from famous host Johnny Carson in 1992, Jay Leno was determined to keep The Tonight Show at the top. For over two decades Leno entertained a wide range audience and hosted some of biggest celebrities in the world.
His last show which was aired on Feb. 2, 2014 revealed an emotional Leno that his audience was not accustomed to seeing, holding back tears throughout his final appearance. He opened by addressing the crowd and poking at his now former employer NBC and said, “You’re very kind, I don’t like goodbyes. NBC does.” Despite being at the top of television ratings Leno was seemingly displeased leaving his job.
He will be replaced by Jimmy Fallon who also hosts for a night show. Fallon at the age of 39 will replace a 63 year old Leno in hopes to draw in a younger fan base. NBC apparently seems concerned other shows will surpass Leno in ratings.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’s final star-studded lineup included Billy Crystal, who was Leno’s first ever guest of The Tonight Show, Oprah Winfrey, Jack Black, Carol Burnett, Sheryl Crow, Kim Kardashian, NBA star Chris Paul and Jim Parsons. Singer Garth Brooks also performed and paid tribute to Leno.
Many other famous people sent in recorded video farewells which included President Barack Obama, Mark Wahlberg, Charlie Sheen, and more.
In his final words Leno told the audience, “This has been the greatest 22 years of my life.” Ending the reign of one of America’s greatest television hosts.