Leno’s Final ‘Tonight’ Show: Watch a Clip!

“Tonight Show” star ends 17-year run, hands off gauntlet to Conan O’Brien.

Last Updated: May 31, 2009 @ 8:49 AM

 It wasn’t exactly Bette Midler singing to a misty-eyed Johnny Carson. But then, Jay Leno’s not really going away.

Nope. He’ll be around more than ever.

But he did finish his 17-year-long run on “The Tonight Show” Friday night. It began with a standing ovation, an entrance accompanied by a rock version of “The Star Spangled Banner,” a performance by James Taylor and a meeting onstage of all the children of all the people who had met while working on his show.

His final guest, as advertised, was Conan O’Brien, who takes over the show on Monday. Leno, of course, takes over NBC’s 10 p.m. slot Mondays through Fridays in the fall.

Here’s a clip from the show: