On February 7, 2014, an emotional Jay Leno bid an incredibly moving farewell to The Tonight Show. In doing so, he gave a beautiful acknowledgment to the people with whom he had worked during his twenty-two year tenure.
First year of this show I lost my mom. The second year of this show, I lost my dad. Then my brother died and after that I was pretty much out of family and the folks here became my family. Consequently, when they went through rough times, I tried to be there for them…And when people say to me, why didn’t you go to ABC? Why didn’t you go to Fox? You know, I didn’t know anybody over there. These are the only people I’ve ever known.
I’m really excited for Jimmy Fallon. You know it’s fun being the old guy, to sit back here and watch where the new generation takes this institution, it’s been a great institution for sixty years and I’m so glad I got to be a part of it, but it really is time to go, to hand it off to the next guy. It really is, and in closing I want to quote Johnny Carson, who was the greatest guy to ever do this job. He said “I bid you all a heartfelt goodnight”