Say this about Jay Leno: His gave a (presumably) final farewell to The Tonight Show on Thursday night, one that was sincere and at times even moving. And that video was, unless I’m forgetting something, the very first time a clip from his show has gone viral on the Internet:
Leno’s final show had it all: Jokes about NBC executives and O.J. The comic talking through his punchlines, whether the jokes hit or not. An appearance from Billy Crystal, the host’s first guest in 1992, who repeated some of Leno’s “best jokes” out of the 160,000 he’s told over the years- most of which weren’t all that great. Although Crystal’s personal tribute was somewhat heartwarming:
There was also a reel of celebrities saying goodbye to Jay, everyone from President Obama to Matt Damon to Mark Wahlberg (here’s an extended version, featuring a lot of material that’s considerably more risqué than Leno’s audience is probably used to:
And Leno’s show wrapped for good with Garth Brooks singing his working-class anthem “Friends in Low Places,” a perfect rejoiner from a performer who’s never been especially well-liked by coastal elites.
Jimmy Fallon will take over as host of the The Tonight Show following the Winter Olympics.