No, we’re not crying. Someone’s just cutting onions.
Thursday night, after 22 years behind the legendary Tonight Show desk, Jay Leno said goodbye to his audience, cast, and crew for good. But not without shedding a few tears or remembering to thank the people he said became his family over his time spent working with them.
“This has been the greatest 22 years of my life,” Jay said tearfully. “I am the luckiest guy in the world. I got to meet presidents, astronauts, movie stars. I got to work with lighting people, who made me look better than I really am. I got to work with audio people who make me sound better than I really do. And I got to work with producers and directors, and just all kinds of talent people. They made me look a lot smarter than I really am."
And then — get the tissues ready — Jay went on to explain why the people who work on the show are so important and close to him.
“I’ll tell you something: First year of this show, I lost my mom; the second year, I lost my dad. Then my brother died,” Jay said. “After that I was pretty much out of family. The folks here became my family … These are the only people I’ve ever known.”
Garth Brooks closed out the show performing his hit “Friends in Low Places,” and he and Jay waved goodbye as the screen faded to black. Feel like getting some of the boo-hoos out? Check out Jay’s final moments as host of the show below.
Jimmy Fallon is all set to take over The Tonight Show starting Monday, February 17 — we’ll all rooting for you, Jimmy!