Say what you want about the guy, but Jay Leno did his thing for a long, long time. Yes, what him and the network did to Conan was kind of unforgivable. But I don’t think we need to focus on any of that right now. I think we need to focus on his legacy, what a good job he did, and stepping down in style. I mean, think about it. How you worked at your job for 22 years? That is one heck of an impressive run. But it finally happened last night. Jay Leno says goodbye to Late Night and passes torch to Jimmy Fallon. You know what, there was not a dry eye in the house.
Last night was equal part pure emotion and a little bit of resentment. Leno made it clear he didn’t want to leave “The best job in show business”, but every dog has its day. Leno has been doing his thing for so long, it seems only fair to give that chance to someone new, just like someone took the chance on him so many years ago.
Many years ago, it was Billy Crystal who was Jay Leno’s first guest, and in a nice bit of closure, he was also his last. He sang to him, and a myriad of other famous faces showed up to bid him farewell. Heck, when Oprah shows up, you know you have made friends with the right people.
The whole show concluded with Leno showing a taped video that Fallon made for him, letting him know if he ever needs it, there will always be a place on The Tonight Show for him. It was a touching and sweet way to see Jay Lano says goodbye to us all. At least he knows he will be missed.
(Photo by NBC Universal via Getty Images)