Leno Takes Final Bow on Tonight Show

Torch passed to Conan O'Brien after 17-year run
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2009 4:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – Jay Leno said goodnight to the Tonight Show last night with a low-key farewell that included a look back at the host’s 17-year run, Variety reports. "When we started the show, my hair was black and the president was white," he quipped. The grand finale was an onstage parade of the 68 children born to staffers since Leno took over from Johnny Carson.

Leno's successor, Conan O'Brien, was the final guest. O'Brien said people had been asking him all week how it felt to have Leno's big shoes to fill, and joked that someday it would be nice to fill "little shoes” instead. Leno reminded guests he'd be back with a new show in September. "I'm going to a secluded spot where no one can find me—NBC primetime," he quipped.