The legendary host wasn't able to hold back tears as he was treated to a choreographed send-off orchestrated by Billy Crystal that included a musical number based on the "So Long, Farewell" song from "The Sound of Music."
One by one, such luminaries as Jack Black, Kim Kardashian, Jim Parsons, Oprah Winfrey, Carol Burnett, and other household names that apparently know and respect Jay Leno showed up to provide their own personal stanzas that related to the situation.
After that, superstar country singer Garth Brooks gave a heartfelt speech to his buddy before playing for "Night Moves" for Jay, his other guests, his staff, and his audience.
And finally, Leno did what he dreaded: He said goodbye to everyone at the place were he held court for the past 22 years. He talked about losing his parents the first two years he was on the air on NBC. That was when this comic admitted that when he found he was at a loss for a family, he suddenly realized that family was right there on "The Tonight Show."
With tears in his eyes, Jay Leno signed off on "The Tonight Show" by acknowledging both his predecessor and his successor. He said he was "really excited for Jimmy Fallon," commenting that "it's fun to be the old guy" who gets to "see where the next generation takes this great institution."
And then, as his last hurrah, Jay Leno quoted Johnny Carson with the very words his mentor said on the air just before he left the same show Jay was about to leave. Carson, and then Leno, told their "Tonight Show" audiences, "I bid you all a heartfelt good night."
After that, Jay gave a meaningful nod to his wife, telling her during his last few moments on the air on NBC that he was on his way home — and this time he would be home for good.