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October 24, 2014

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Five memorable moments from Jay Leno’s final show

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Matt Sayles / Invision / AP

Billy Crystal and Jay Leno appear during the final taping of NBC’s “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, in Burbank, Calif.

Jay Leno

In this photo released by NBC, Tom Cruise jumps onto the sofa after greeting host Jay Leno on the set of Launch slideshow »

BURBANK, Calif. — Jay Leno said goodbye — again — to "The Tonight Show" during a taping today in Burbank, Calif. Here are five memorable moments from his final show:

22 YEARS AGO

In the middle of his opening monologue, which included the usual jabs at pop culture and politics, Leno stopped to recognize changes over the past 22 years: cigarettes could be smoked anywhere; Justin Bieber wasn't born; and guys had to buy porn at newsstands. "You know the saddest part of all?" said Leno. "O.J. (Simpson) never found the real killers."

WHAT'S NEXT FOR JAY?

In a pre-taped bit, several celebs appeared to offer suggestions of what Leno could do after "The Tonight Show." Larry the Cable Guy advised him to "sell meth." Charlie Sheen suggested he buy NBC and fire everyone. President Barack Obama offered to make him an ambassador to Antarctica. "I hope you've got a warm coat, funnyman," Obama deadpanned.

"SO LONG, FAREWELL"

After appearing as Leno's final guest, Billy Crystal — backed by Von Trapp family lookalikes — led a cavalcade of stars including Jim Parsons, Sheryl Crow, Kim Kardashian, Oprah Winfrey, Chris Paul and Carol Burnett in a "Sound of Music" parody. "So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye," sang Jack Black. "If Fallon tanks, you'll be back here next year."

FINAL MONOLOGUE

In the last moments of the show, Leno addressed the audience in a touching final monologue, thanking the fans for being loyal and his crew for making him look, sound and seem smarter than he really was as show host. "I am the luckiest guy in the world," said an uncharacteristically weepy Leno. "I got to meet presidents, astronauts and movie stars."

"FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES"

After his teary address, Leno asked final musical guest Garth Brooks to "liven up the room." Brooks, who earlier performed a sober "The Dance," turned in a lively rendition of "Friends in Low Places" as Leno watched from the sidelines. Afterward, Leno enthusiastically told the crowd: "Watch Jimmy Fallon! Thanks, folks. See you later! I'm coming home, honey!"

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