Jay was sent off in style, thanks to a few jokes from Billy Crystal, a performance by Garth Brooks — and a surprise visit from Kim Kardashian!
Ladies and gentlemen, the chin has left the building. Late-night legend Jay Leno hosted his final episode of The Tonight Show on Feb. 6, vacating a position he’s held — on and off — since May 1992. It was a bittersweet hour, full of jokes and reflections, as Jay looked back on his incredible career.
“When I started hosting, marijuana was illegal and you could smoke cigarettes anywhere you wanted,” Jay cracked during his monologue, giving his audience — which included his loving wife, Mavis — an idea of just how long he’s been playing the late-night game.
Jay also took a shot at Justin Bieber during his opening monologue, which was obviously one of HollywoodLife.com‘s favorite moments of the hour. We also enjoyed seeing Miley Cyrus — even if she was putting a dent in Jay’s car.
Jay Leno’s Last Episode: Billy, Garth — And Kim?
Jay’s final guest was none other than Billy Crystal, who also served as his very first guest back in the early ’90s. Billy was an inspired choice, but the guest people are more likely to talk about tomorrow is Kim Kardashian, who surprised Jay with a parody song from The Sound of Music.
Yes, you read that right. Kim sang.
“So long, farewell, tonight I told my folks,” she sang, straight from the nose. “And now, I won’t be the butt of Leno’s jo-okes.”
I kid, but honestly, it was pretty funny.
In keeping with the evening’s musical theme, country superstar Garth Brooks was more than happy to lend a hand — and a few strings — for Jay’s final bow.
Jay Leno’s Last Episode: Closing Thoughts
Jay will definitely be missed from late night — he recently said he has no plans to take another stab at it — but I’m confident Jimmy Fallon will be a worthy replacement. Though Jimmy didn’t make an appearance, as many speculated, he did get a brief shout-out from Jay.
“I’m really excited for Jimmy Fallon,” he said. “It’s fun to be the old guy and see where the next generation takes this great institution.”
And ever the class act, Jay ended with a quote from the eternal Johnny Carson: “I bid you all a heartfelt good night.”
HollywoodLifers, what did you think of Jay’s final hour? Will you miss him on The Tonight Show, or are you ready to welcome Jimmy with open arms? Drop a comment with your thoughts on the torch-passing below.
— Andy Swift