It seems like just yesterday the drama was going down with Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno feuding about the elder host refusing to abdicate his late night throne. But now, he’s really doing it, handing over The Tonight Show to Jimmy Fallon, and retiring at last.
His final show has aired, and above you can watch his last, tearful goodbye. Through all of this, there’s been whispers that Jay still really doesn’t want to go, and he’d stay around if they didn’t have Fallon to replace him. But I also think he doesn’t want to go through all that sort of Conan-style hell all over again, so now he’s leaving peacefully.
It would be pretty heavy to say goodbye to a show you’ve dedicated so much of your life to, and the above video is definitely worth watching even if you’re generally not a fan. Above all else, he does seem like a nice guy, and I think the press has mishandled him quite a bit (as has NBC, in many ways).
I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Jay Leno, but his tenure at The Tonight Show is over at the very least.