It’s the end of an era. Jay Leno has officially stepped down after 22 years of hosting The Tonight Show. As he bid adieu to his loyal viewers, Leno took the time to thank his fans as well as the crew of the show. “First year of the show I lost my mom. Second year I lost my dad. Then my brother died, and after that I was pretty much out of family. The folks here became my family. Consequently, when they went through rough times, I tried to be there for them. The last time we left this show you might remember we had the 64 children that were born among all of our staffers that married, and that was a great moment,” said Leno, obviously very emotional. “And when people say to me, ‘Hey, why didn’t you go to ABC? Why didn’t you go to Fox? Why didn’t you go…’ I didn’t know anybody over there. These are the only people I’ve ever known. I’m also proud to say this is a union show and I have never worked with a more professional group of people in my life.”
The final episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno also featured an interview with Billy Crystal followed by a musical number with Crystal, Jack Black, Kim Kardashian, Chris Paul, Sheryl Crow, Jim Parsons, Carol Burnett, Oprah Winfrey, the Shut Your Von Trapp Family Singers, and Marc Shaiman on piano.