Markers of Geezerhood
Bill Quick

Jay Leno’s Last ‘Tonight Show,’ Take Two: Stars, and a few tears | Variety

“I don’t like goodbyes; NBC does,” Jay Leno said in his latest last opening monologue, as he bid farewell to “The Tonight Show” — again — on Thursday night.

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.

Bill Quick

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


Markers of Geezerhood — 4 Comments

  1. Here was the biggest difference between Carson and Leno. Carson NEVER did reruns. It was always a fresh show. Carson took plenty of vacations, but always had guest hosts, which gave the young kids a way to learn how to play on the big stage. Guests like Joan Rivers, and Jay Leno, and….

    Leno NEVER had guest hosts; he did reruns. He never gave the kids a chance to break into the business. I guess he realized that he didn’t want to share the ladder up that Carson gave him, for fear that somebody would replace HIM, like he “replaced” Carson.

    (Nobody could “replace” Johnny Carson, or come anywhere close to filling his shoes; Leno sure never did!)