Last night I watched the end of an era. Jay Leno said good-bye, for the last time, after 22 years of hosting the Tonight Show.
For the last 17 years of his reign, he consistently delivered a show that was number one in the ratings by a long shot. He tirelessly delivered a humor that was topical, intelligent, witty, silly, creative, and sometimes even eye-opening. He delivered a humor on which I could count without fail to make me smile and laugh out loud.
Unlike some others in his field, he didn’t make me cringe with his brand of humor. He didn’t go after the weak and easy target. He didn’t stand on stage staring at the camera, making faces, killing time, because he had been unable to come up with enough funny material to fill his monologue that night. He didn’t do stupid humor that only appeals to a college student at two in the morning after a night of drinking.
Jay Leno’s humor was well-crafted and delivered with a fluidity and pace that only a master comedian could achieve after decades of continuous work in perfecting his craft.
He was there at the end of a tough day or a broken heart, sending me off to sleep with a smile, helping me put the world in perspective, understanding that this, too, shall pass.
He was there to help me celebrate a promotion, a new house, or a new love.
He was there to see me through insomnia and pain, colds and flus, and even labor and child birth, helping me laugh in between monstrous pains, as my husband slept.
He was there through too many late work nights as I tried to meet inhuman deadlines, offering me a small break, enough respite and lift to carry me to the finish line.
In a crazy and sometimes scary world, he was a safe harbor to come to at night before falling asleep.
With great grace and humor he said good-bye last night… and with great gratitude and sadness I say, thanks, Jay, thank you very much.
Martie Hevia (c) All Rights Reserved
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno | VIDEOS
Jay Leno’s Last Monologue | February 6, 2014
Jay Leno’s Farewell | February 6, 2014
Billy Crystal’s Surprise Celebrity Musical | The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
The Last Headlines | The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Thank You Notes’ to Jay | The Tonight Show
Great Celebrity Moments | The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Best of Civilians | The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Best of Kids | The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Best Wedding Couple Names | The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Jay Cleaning Out His Office | The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Jay Dancing Through the Years | The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Best of Bill Maher | The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Maher & MacFarlane Sing To Jay | The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Best of Fake Spokesperson Auditions | The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Jaywalk: Year In Review 2013 | The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Jay Leno on Ellen | On Leaving The Tonight Show