It was, however, a fitting send-off — from his final guest, Billy Crystal, to the “Sound of Music” parody featuring Jack Black and others, to the side-splitting, videotaped career advice from Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg and others.
It’s been well reported that Jay plans to continue doing stand-up comedy — something he’s continued to do during his entire career on “The Tonight Show.” He may even do some TV or movie work, but nothing at this point on late night.
“I’ve always been a stand-up comedian that had a day job,” Leno told the Los Angeles Times in a recent interview. “This is my day job. I’ve always been on the road every single weekend — and the week, too — since I got this job. So I’m back on the road. We leave here on the 6th. The 7th I’m in Sarasota. The 8th I’m in Clearwater. The 9th I’m in Naples, Fla. The 10th I’m in Miami ...
“It’s what you have to do if you want to do comedy. You can’t take a year off and come back. No one’s ever taken time off as a comedian and come back and been better. It doesn’t work that way. It atrophies. You have to do it all the time.”
Jay’s comedy certainly never atrophied during his stint on “The Tonight Show,” which topped late-night ratings for most of the last 20 years.
While everyone knows about these successes, not everyone knows what Jay is like when no one is around.
When there were no cameras watching, Jay Leno was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I remember teasing him from being from hoity-toity Andover while he teased me right back for being from the Aquanet cloud formerly known as Methuen.