When Leno stepped out for his opening monologue, he received a standing ovation and plenty of cheers from the audience. They played memorable presidential moments, along with taped footage of Tonight Show guests telling Jay what to do with all of his new free time. Steve Carell warned Jay not to live in the past as he sat behind Michael Scott’s desk, and The Office theme song played; Miley Cyrus told Jay to fix the dent in his car before slamming her car door into his, creating the dent; and Tyler Perry helped Jay dress up in his own version of Madea.
During tonight’s show, Jay interviewed Billy Crystal, who was also his first-ever guest on the when he took over for Johnny Carson in 1992. Crystal stepped out to give his own monologue, highlighting some of Leno’s funniest lines before he sat down to talk to the departing host. Billy later stepped aside and was joined by the “Von Trapp singers” to bid Jay farewell. Jack Black, Kim Kardashian, Sheryl Crow, Jim Parsons, Carol Burnett, and Oprah all made appearances to assist in singing new lines from the song to get laughs from the crowd.
Tonight’s musical guest was Garth Brooks, who sang one of Jay’s favorite songs: “The Dance.”
In his final moments as host, Leno grew tearful as he thanked fans and told them it had been the best 22 years of his life. He thanked all the writers, producers, and staff on the show and said they had been his family over the years. Jay added it was time for him to step aside, and he was excited for Jimmy Fallon before turning it back over to Garth Brooks, who closed out the show with “Friends in Low Places.”
Were you a fan of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno? Will you tune in with Jimmy Fallon as the new host? Leave your well-wishes for Jay in a comment below!