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Jay Leno signs off as Tonight Show host

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Feb 06, 2014 | 11:17pm EST

Beloved U.S. TV personality Jay Leno signed off as the host of The Tonight Show after 22 years on Thursday (06Feb14) with a star-studded bang. The programme capped off weeks of heartfelt celebrity tributes to the TV host from the likes of Sandra Bullock, Matt Damon, Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Lopez. For his final show, the 63 year old sat down with his first-ever guest Billy Crystal, who enlisted Jack Black, Kim Kardashian, Sheryl Crow, Jim Parsons, Carol Burnett and Oprah Winfrey to join him for a surprise musical send-off. Announced musical guest Garth Brooks told fans after the taping of the final Leno show that he was thrilled to be a part of U.S. TV history, stating, "I was really proud of him (Leno)." Leno celebrated with his wife and longtime crew members and producers at an after-show party on the Burbank, California lot, where Chris Isaak provided the musical entertainment. After the show, Britney Spears shared her thoughts about Leno's departure on Twitter.com, writing, "Thanks for making us smile for so many years." The end of an era marked the second time Leno had quit the show since taking over hosting duties from iconic U.S. TV host Johnny Carson in 1992 - in 2009, he announced he was ending his run, and Conan O'Brien stepped in as his replacement. Poor ratings and politics led to Leno's return in 2010. Former Saturday Night Live regular Jimmy Fallon will take over as the host of The Tonight Show from Monday (17Feb14), when the programme returns to New York for the first time since Carson brought it to California in 1972.

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