Saturday, March 8, 2014
By Lynn Elber
The Associated Press
(Continued from page 1)
Jay Leno hosts his last episode of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on Thursday.
2012 Associated Press File Photo
Another Brooks’ song, “Friends in Low Places,” closed out the show.
Before the show, the fenced off area where “Tonight Show” audiences had typically lined up hours early, remained empty throughout the day. Next to the soundstage where the show is taped, a giant white tent had been erected, presumably the setting for Leno’s send-off party. Outside the tent were rows of white flowers, as well as a few of Leno’s vintage cars.
“It’s going to be difficult to not come in and do a show every day for our audience who has been so great to Jay,” lamented Vickers, the executive producer. “And also hard for this group of people (the staff) who have all been together for 22 years,” said Vickers, who worked on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight” before taking the top job with Leno.
Leno, 63, said he plans to continue playing comedy clubs, indulging his passion for cars and doing such TV work as comes his way – other than hosting on late-night.
“It’s been a wonderful job. This is the right time to leave,” he said last week, and make way for the next generation.
Fallon, 39, starts his “Tonight” Feb. 17, with NBC hoping he rides the promotional wave of its Winter Olympics coverage the next two weeks.
Leno’s late-night competitors aren’t stepping aside for his final bow.
ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel, who was harshly critical of Leno when O’Brien lost “Tonight,” has the A-list cast of the new film “The Monuments Men,” including George Clooney, Matt Damon and Bill Murray.
On CBS, David Letterman’s “Late Show” will continue its musical tributes to the upcoming 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ appearance on CBS’ “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Sean Lennon, son of the late John Lennon, will perform a Beatles tune with The Flaming Lips.
AP Entertainment Reporter Derrik J. Lang contributed to this report.