Jay Leno is preparing for his last show as host of The Tonight Show airing Thursday, Feb. 6, which will welcome guest Billy Crystal, who was Leno’s very first guest in 1992.

Jay Leno Says Goodbye To 'The Tonight Show'

Leno’s exit from The Tonight Show has been anticipated by viewers for quite some time. Ever since he left and then returned to the show in the 2010 Tonight Show hosting-debacle that pit him against Conan O’Brien in a late night talk show war.

His departure from The Tonight Show was announced last year and the comic has been celebrating his 22 years behind The Tonight Show desk all week leading up to his final show. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno has aired highlight reels and hosted a slew of Leno’s favorite guests, including Betty White and Sandra Bullock, who gave Leno a tearful goodbye Wednesday, Feb. 5.


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For his last show, Leno welcomes back his very first guest, Crystal, who has appeared on the show 20 times. Crystal was actually Leno’s “last guest” in 2009 when the comedian first said goodbye to The Tonight Show. In that first farewell show, Crystal serenaded Leno with a humorous song celebrating his 17 years as Tonight Show host, though one can bet he will prepare something a bit different this time around.

Appearing alongside Crystal will be Leno’s favorite musician Garth Brooks, who will be making his 23rd visit since Leno took over the show in 1992.

The final Tonight Show with Jay Leno also promises to feature some surprise guests, who are being kept strictly under wraps, and a heartfelt goodbye from Leno himself to close out the show.

Los Angeles Honors Jay Leno

Leno’s last night as the host of The Tonight Show will also likely be the last night (until the next new host) the show is filmed in Burbank/Los Angeles. Late Night host Jimmy Fallon will be taking over for Leno after the Sochi Winter Olympics on Monday, Feb. 17, and he will move The Tonight Show back to New York City.

“The real impact is the loss of tradition and that’s what our community is feeling. We see Jay Leno around town, he participates in our car shows, he drives around our streets and he’s been part of the community ever since he’s been here doing the Tonight Show. People really love that,” said Emily Gabel-Luddy, mayor of Burbank.

In celebration of The Tonight Show’s last night in Los Angeles, the city has declared Feb. 6 ‘Jay Leno Day.’

NBC network also paid tribute to Leno, writing "THX JAY!" in lights on one of their buildings.

Leno’s final show as host airs Thursday, Feb. 6 at 11:35 p.m. on NBC and Fallon’s first show as host of The Tonight Show will air Feb. 14 at 11:35 p.m. on NBC.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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