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Jay Leno: 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' ends after 22 years

Jay Leno (r) with his first and last guest on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."  Last show was Feb. 6, 2014 - after 22 years on NBC.
Jay Leno (r) with his first and last guest on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." Last show was Feb. 6, 2014 - after 22 years on NBC.
Reuters

Jay Leno made his last appearance on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” after 22 years as the extremely-popular comedic talk show host. With an emotional and tearfully choked-up goodbye, he said his time on the show has been the greatest 22 years of his life, according to a CBS report on Thursday. The last Leno edition of “The Tonight Show” was televised on Feb. 6 before an adoring studio audience.

The show began with extended applause for Leno as he took the stage. Following yet another brilliant monologue, he brought out his first of two scheduled guests for the night, Billy Crystal. Crystal was his first guest 22 years ago, and Jay had promised him that he would be on his last show. Jay kept his promise.

His second guest of the night was country music star Garth Brooks who sang “The Dance” and “Friends in Low Places” which are likely his most-popular songs.

During Leno’s farewell near the end of the show, he said that he lost his mother the first year he did the “Tonight Show” and his father the second year he did the show – and then he lost his brother. Leno emotionally said, “And after that I was pretty much out of family. And the folks here became my family,” referring to his co-workers on the NBC program.

As popular as Leno has been, NBC has chosen to replace him with Jimmy Fallon. Fallon’s rendition of “The Tonight Show” begins Feb. 17.