“Tonight is the last show for real,” Leno said. “I don’t need get fired three times. I get the hint”
Jay Leno opened his final “Tonight Show” monologue on Thursday by taking a few shots at NBC, as well as some other favorite targets.
“I don’t like goodbyes,” Leno started. “NBC does. I don’t care.”
“I don’t care,” he repeated, before taking another (probably) playful swipe at his network. “Well, tonight is the last show for real; I don’t need get fired three times,” Leno quipped. “I get the hint. I get the hint.”
See video: Jay Leno‘s Last ‘Tonight Show': Billy Crystal’s Best Moments
But then Leno’s mood turned to graciousness, faux as it may have been for the sake of the punchline: “I got to tell you, the outpouring from people. It’s really been touching. Today Anthony Weiner sent me photo of his penis looking sad.”
“Twenty-two years, that’s a long time,” the exiting host said. “Here’s how long it was: When I started hosting, marijuana was illegal, and you could smoke cigarettes anyplace you wanted.”
Leno added: “Twenty-two years ago, there was no Craigslist. Serial killers had to meet their victims the old-fashioned way, at the bus station at midnight.”
The soon-to-be free agent comedian reeled off a few more rounds of the differences between his curtain-raising 1992 episode and the environment from which he took his final bow Thursday, such as: “Twenty-two years ago, guys actually had to go to the news stand for porn.”
As well as: “So much has happened in the last 22 years. You know the saddest part of all, O.J. never found the real killers.”
And of course: “When I started hosting, Justin Bieber wasn’t even born yet. That’s why we call those the good ol’ days.”
See video: Jay Leno‘s ‘Tonight Show’ Exit: 8 Ways the Comedic Car Nut Can Spend His Free Time
Even the President, who as Leno’s guest was the first ever sitting president to appear on late-night TV, was not immune to the veteran comic’s playful wrath: “The worst thing about losing this job, I’m no longer covered by NBC,” Leno said. “I now have to sign up for Obamacare.”
Leno’s final guest ever was Billy Crystal — the man who Leno hosted on his very first “Tonight Show” in 1992.
Watch the monologue: