It was a sad affair for Jay Leno's final appearance on the Tonight Show, but at least there were also some funny and unexpected moments. The official guest panel included Billy Crystal and Garth Brooks, but the producers had something else in mind.
According to E online, they set up a special farewell moment for Leno, in which more than one celebrity came to pay homage to the legendary talk show anchor. It was opened by Kim Kardashian who gave her best version of “So Long Farewell” from “The Sound of Music.”
“So long, farewell, tonight I told my folks,and now, I won't be the butt of Leno's jokes,” Kim sang in a high pitched voice that could easily be mistaken for a falsetto. Fortunately, this wasn't the only act.
The performance continued with Sheryl Crow and Jim Parsons from “The Big Bang Theory,” who joked about Jay being “the big chin theory,” Carol Burnett and Jack Black, and finally Oprah Winfrey.
There were also recorded messages from other celebrities who wanted to thank Leno for his performances during the years or wish him well in the future. Mark Wahlberg gave a funny account, pretending he didn't care about what Jay Leno does from here on: “Why would I give a [bleep] about what he does? He's a grown man!”
The entire procession clearly affected Leno, who became emotional and addressed the crowds: “Boy, this is the hard part. I want to thank you – the audience. You folks have been just incredibly loyal and... this is tricky... We wouldn't be on the air without you people. Secondly, this has been the greatest 22 years of my life.”
His final thoughts were for Jimmy Fallon, who is set to take over the show on February 17, “ I'm really excited for Jimmy Fallon. It's fun to be the old guy and see where the next generation takes this great institution. I'm so glad I got to be a part of it, but it really is time to go and hand it to the next guy. And, in conclusion, I want to quote Johnny Carson: 'I bid you all a heartfelt good night.”