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Jay Leno Signs Off from the “Tonight Show”

Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Thursday’s edition of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” capped Leno’s 22 years hosting the show as he bid farewell to his audience.

An emotional, at times, Lenotaped his last “Tonight Show” with help from a stageful of stars, including his last guest Billy Crystal, Garth Brooks, Kim Kardashian, Jack Black and Oprah Winfrey.

Leno grew tearful as he brought his 22 years as “Tonight” host to a close, thanking his viewers for being “incredibly loyal.”

Leno said goodbye as host once before, making way for Conan O’Brien in 2009, before taking back over the show in 2010 as O’Brien moved from NBC to TBS. However, now in 2014, Leno says it’s the right time to leave. Jimmy Fallon takes over “The Tonight Show” on February 17 as the show moves from Los Angeles to New York.

NBC asked Leno to leave six month early, so Fallon could launch the new version of “The Tonight Show” during the Winter Olympics.

Thursday’s hour-long show included celebrity advice on Lenonext move, two songs from Brooks and a parody of a song from “The Sound of Music.” That number brought together a wild assortment of celebrities, including Winfrey, Carol Burnett, Black, Jim Parsons and Kardashian.

Timeline of comedians vs. Leno over the past two decades

Information from the Associated Press used in this report

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