BREAKING NEWS

Jay Leno Says Goodbye To 'Tonight Show'

May 30 2009, Published 8:45 a.m. ET

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Jay Leno gracefully bowed from his desk at NBC's The Tonight Show on Friday evening, an hour of reflection, thanks and even a Jon & Kate joke!

"When I started here, my hair was black and the president was white. Jon and Kate were both 8," Leno said, considering the amount of change in his 17-year tenure.

Leno, recently hospitalized for exhaustion due to his frenzied departure, was greeted with continuous applause upon entrance. His final guest was successor Conan O'Brien.

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The funnyman discussed his predecessor Johnny Carson, who turned the chat show into a blockbuster hit. James Taylor served as final musical guest, who sang "Sweet Baby James," at Leno's request.

O'Brien takes over the intimidating host chair on Monday, while Leno will return with an hour-long variety program for NBC in the fall.

(Photo: Splash News)

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