Jay Leno became tearful and choked up as he bid goodbye to “The Tonight Show” on Thursday, concluding what he called the “greatest 22 years of my life.”
Two days after he left the show, Leno was in West Palm Beach, Fla., and according to a TMZ report, he was there to perform a stand-up routine.
Leno said that he was “done with television... for good,” TMZ reported on Monday. Leno, as he stepped down from the show for the second, and perhaps the last time, said in his final episode: “I am the luckiest guy in the world.”
He said that he had lost his mother in the first year he became the host of the show, and then he lost his father and brother. “And after that I was pretty much out of family. And the folks here became my family,” he said about the show's crew.
Leno first left the show in 2009, when he was replaced by Conan O’Brien but reclaimed his position after the latter only managed poor ratings for the show. Jimmy Fallon will now take over the show in New York on Feb. 17.
On his final episode, actor Billy Crystal, who was his first guest in May 1992, came to the show again, along with Oprah Winfrey, Jack Black, Kim Kardashian, Carol Burnett and others.
President Barack Obama, who, like other politicians, was a favorite target of Leno’s, sent in a clip where he said: “Jay, you’ve made a whole lot of jokes about me over the years, but don’t worry, I’m not upset.” Obama added that he was making Leno the U.S. ambassador to Antarctica. “Hope you have a warm coat, funnyman.”
While Leno plans not to return to television anymore, NBC on Monday revealed the guest list for Fallon’s “The Tonight Show.” The network reportedly said that Will Smith will appear on the Feb. 17 debut of the show along with Irish rock band, U2, who will be performing.
Justin Timberlake will reportedly close out the week, which will also include appearances by first lady Michelle Obama, Will Ferrell, Bradley Cooper, Kristen Wiig and Jerry Seinfeld.
Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire and Tim McGraw will also reportedly perform during Fallon's first week on the show.
The first four episodes of the show will air at midnight following the Sochi Winter Olympics, after which the show will regain its usual spot.