Jay Leno passes the torch to Conan O’Brien

jay-lenoLate night TV host Jay Leno stepped down from his throne last night with tears in his eyes. Mr. Leno, who inherited “The Tonight Show” from Johnny Carson in 1992, passed the torch to Conan O’Brien.

Jay Leno and “The Tonight Show” had been together for 3,800 performances in 17 years .

Leno’s finale opened with a standing ovation from the audience and a monologue full of humor.

Seventeen years! Do you realize when I started this show, my hair was black and the president was white. Did you know that? When we started this show 17 years ago, Jon and Kate were both 8! The only thing that hasn’t changed in 17 years? The Clippers still suck.

Leno will stay with NBC for a new five-times-a-week primetime show.

“People ask me, ‘Oh, what are you going to do after the last show? Are you gonna go on vacation?’ This kind of thing. … I’m going to a secluded spot where no one can find me: NBC prime time.”

Leno’s new show is tentatively titled “The Jay Leno Show”, which will air weeknights at 10:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).