Comedian and host of NBC’s "The Tonight Show" Jay Leno had at least one thing in common with dentists and onions Thursday night: He made us cry. After indulging audiences in 22 years of laughter, the 63-year-old concluded his last episode on the iconic late night show with a farewell to celebrities, co-workers and the general public.
For Leno’s last show, he interviewed his very first guest and longtime friend Billy Crystal. The two bantered about the “good old days” with a quip about Justin Bieber.
“Justin Bieber wasn’t even born yet. That’s why we call them ‘the good old days,’” Leno said.
Following Billy Crystal’s appearance a bevy of celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Jack Black and Kim Kardashian, paraded across the stage for a "Sound of Music" parody, where they sang an ensemble version of "So long, Farewell.”
Even President Barack Obama got in on the goodbyes, in a video recording, Time magazine reported.
"Jay, you've made a whole lot of jokes about me over the years, but don't worry, I'm not upset," Obama said before jokingly appointing Leno the U.S. Ambassador to Antarctica.
But at the end of the night it was Leno’s heartfelt parting speech that made one nostalgic for Leno's wholesome, family-friendly comedy routines.
"I am the luckiest guy in the world," he said.
After thanking all his staff and calling them family he told the audience his time was up.
“It really is time to go and hand it off to the next guy – it really is,” Leno said.
Jimmy Fallon will take Leno’s position as host on Feb. 17, CNN reported.
Though Leno left "The Tonight Show" once before, this goodbye
is likely more permanent than his last when NBC hired Conan O’Brien back
in 2009 to take Leno’s place, and then only to rehire Leno a couple months later due
to dismal ratings. But Leno said he doesn’t expect
to return to "The Tonight Show" again, jesting, “I don’t need get fired three times! I get the hint!”