Wow… In all my years of watching the “Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, I’ve never seen Leno this emotional.
What a career — what an ending. An emotional ending to Leno’s final Tonight Show. It must’ve been very touching for a lot you guys who were big Leno fans, like myself. As a New Yorker, in my household, my mom always had Jay Leno on, at 11:34, on the dot. Being a New Yorker, you would think we’d watch David Letterman since he’s from NYC — not the case. We always liked Letterman; still do. But Leno was always first in our house.
And the main reason for that is because my mom loved Johnny Carson. She use to see a young Leno appear on Carson from time-to-time. So she knew who Leno was.
The one thing my mom always talked about, when Carson would come up in a discussion, was his final show. She always describes how sad it was and how she cried when Barbra Streisand sang a goodbye song to Carson. Just like how she would reflect on that moment to me (her son), that’s the same way I’m gonna tell my future kids about Leno’s last show.
Very sad seeing Leno go. He’s been a part of my life ever since I was a baby. Every night, it became a religion to watch Leno in my house. When my cable box hit 11:34 on a weekday, for the past 20-years, we’d grab the remote and put channel 4. NBC has been a big part of my life, which includes Saturday Night Live.
Leno is Hollywood; his show is the big stage. When actors and actresses come on his show, they know they’ve made it. You hear them tell stories about their first time coming on Leno, and describe how nervous they were. You can’t get no bigger than Leno.
As I’m doing this piece, at this very moment, it really hit me how much I’m gonna miss him. He truly was like a member of my family.
I’ve never seen Leno break down and cry, like what we witness tonight. That emotion shows that he’s really done. I don’t think he’s gonna do a Michael Jordan and comeback for a third. This is it.
Thank you, Jay. Thank you for the laughs, the fun, the memories, and thank you for opening your heart to us for 22-years. Love you.