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PopWrapped | Television

Laughs For Leno: Late-Night TV Wishes Jay A Fond Farewell

PopWrapped | PopWrapped Author

PopWrapped

Updated 02/7/2014 9:59am
Laughs For Leno: Late-Night TV Wishes Jay A Fond Farewell
Media Courtesy of newsbusters.org
 
Courtesy of newsbusters.org Courtesy of newsbusters.org

Tarra Matthews

Senior Manager

Last night (February 6th) marked Jay Leno's last night behind The Tonight Show desk, 22 years after he took over for legend Johnny Carson. Leno's late-night comrades and 'frenemies' Conan O'Brien, David Letterman, and Jimmy Kimmel all had something to say to Jay on his final night on air. Conan and Jay haven't had the best of relationships ever since Conan's run on The Tonight Show (where he took over for Jay, but was pushed out to bring Jay back after ratings tanked) in 2010. As part of his opening monologue Conan joked, "The Olympics start airing tonight on NBC. It's very cool. That's right, NBC has the Olympics. It's a big deal. NBC will finally get to show somebody who is OK with passing the torch." After a brief pause he added, "I allowed myself one, but it was a good one." Kimmel, who became a direct competitor with Leno in 2011 after his show got moved up an hour, sent Leno a friendly message via Twitter:
via @jimmykimmel Twitter via @jimmykimmel Twitter
Long time rival David Letterman didn't make any jokes at Leno's expense, instead opting for the a nice farewell and witty quip, "Congratulations on a wonderful run, and I'll tell you something—If I was Jay Leno and I was retiring, you know what I would do? I'd go out and buy myself a car." Anyone who knows anything about Leno knows that he is a car enthusiast and has a rather large collection of classic cars. Even late-night veteran Arsenio Hall (who made his return to T.V. last year) chimed in wishing Jay Leno goodbye, likening him to Michael Jordan, "I can't believe he's going. Here's the crazy thing: forget everything you've heard. He's No. 1. and they're getting rid of the No. 1 guy. It shows that the business is really changing. He's the 

Michael Jordan 

of late-night. That's like somebody saying, 'Hey, Mike! Put your tongue back in your mouth and get out of here!' It's pretty crazy, but we love him. He's the living legend of late-night. Let's give him a big round of applause."
Finally there was Jimmy Fallon, who is taking over for Leno starting February 17th, he expressed his gratitude to the late-night legend by saying, "To Jay, we say thank you very much. He's been a great guy. We're going to miss him." Amongst the parade of celebrities that graced The Tonight Show stage to say goodbye to Leno last night there were also some familiar faces to the Gleeks and Warbler fans out there. Tim David, vocal contractor for Glee led a group of young, talented singers that included season 2 Dalton Academy Warblers Eddy Martin and Brock Baker, along with Kimberly Whalen (who has appeared on Broadway & is wife to Curt Mega) in a farewell song for Leno.
via @brockbakermusic on Instagram
Jay's tearful farewell also spelled ratings gold for The Tonight Show, hitting the highest ratings since President Obama graced the show on March 19th, 2009. Last night's episode scored a 9.2 in the household metered markets. The ratings train also carried over for Fallon's Late Show last night, which garnered a 4.6, its best ratings ever! Here's hoping Jimmy Fallon can carry that momentum over to The Tonight Show when his version debuts in just over a weeks time. If you missed Jay's farewell speech, or want to watch the touching moments again, here's the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BM9T1oO_umM

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