At 17, most kids pack up and leave home. Last night, after 17 years as host of The Tonight Show, Jay Leno headed off into the sunset—well, to a 10 o'clock time slot. But still, for 17 years, Leno had been sitting behind the legendary Tonight Show desk and bringing late-night comedy to America. From an appearance by the president to his bromance with Mel Gibson, here are some of his best moments.
BEST POLITICAL MOMENTS
Though maybe best known for mocking celebrities, The Tonight Show has skewered its fair share of politicians as well. Here are some of the most hilarious examples of The Tonight Show turning from Hollywood to focus on the funny on The Hill.
HUGH GRANT’S HOOKER MEA CULPA
Love means never having to say you’re sorry—unless you find that love with a hooker on Sunset Boulevard. In 1995, Hugh Grant offered up this awkward explanation for his other, more infamous late-night activities.
BEST OF FAKE INTERVIEWS
Real celebrity interviews make up a lot of each night’s show, but arguably more memorable are the fake ones. From Michael Jackson to O.J. to Yoda, here are some of the best phony interviews in Tonight Show history.
THE PRESIDENT COMES TO VISIT
The Tonight Show has welcomed to its stage almost every significant celebrity and politician for nearly two decades. But it wasn’t until President Obama stopped by that a sitting president visited the late-night talk show. Nevertheless, it was Obama’s Special Olympics joke that quickly became the bigger headline.
BRAVEHEART, STRANGE LOVE
Every talk-show host has a reservoir of go-to guests who, for whatever reason, they just click with (Conan and Martha Stewart?). For Jay, one of those lucky few has been Mel Gibson.