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Jay Leno says tearful goodbye to 'Tonight': 'It really is time to go'

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Jay Leno

Jay Leno fought back tears as he said goodbye to the Tonight Show 22 years after taking over the show from Johnny Carson. “It really is time to go and hand it off to the next guy,” he said, before evoking the farewell words of his predecessor. “I bid you all a heartfelt goodbye.”

Leno expressed his appreciation for his loyal audience and the crew he worked with for more than two decades. “The first year of the show, I lost my mom. The second year, I lost my dad,” he said. “Then my brother died and after that I was pretty much out of family… and the folks here became my family.”

Watch EW’s coverage below:

You can see Leno’s entire farewell below: