Characteristically, Leno wasn’t particularly maudlin or sentimental at first, at least compared to Johnny Carson’s “very heartfelt goodnight” that preceded Leno’s briefly interrupted stint as Carson’s successor.
In the closing moments, however, when it was just him at the desk, Leno did choke up, calling “The Tonight Show” “the greatest 22 years of my life,” talking about losing his parents in the first few years the show was on, and how the staff had become his family. Leno even quoted Carson’s sign-off, while saying he was “excited” for his successor, Jimmy Fallon.
“It really is time to go,” he said.
You know how you know you’re old? You clearly remember being pissed at that young whippersnapper, Jay Leno, for replacing Johnny Carson, who was your late-night go-to guy ever since Jack Paar.
Also, you remember Jack Paar.