Ellen DeGeneres acknowledged Wednesday night that her appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” would likely be her last with Leno as host, and she used the occasion to say good-bye.
DeGeneres, 55, may have been the first guest seen on the show recently to make the acknowledgement that, with time running out in the Leno era, she doubts she’ll be back again before Leno hands over the show to Jimmy Fallon in February.
It was a touching appearance: Both entertainers talked about their long friendship, with Ellen mentioning that she’s been on the Leno “Tonight Show” more than 30 times.
And she also told the story of how Leno gave her nascent comedy career a huge boost decades ago when he recommended to the comedy booker for “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” that the talent scout stick around one night at The Comedy Store in L.A. to watch this new comedian — Ellen DeGeneres — whose comedy Leno really liked. As a result of that performance, Ellen was booked on the Carson show and her career was made.
She thanked Jay for that, and praised him generally for being one of the finest people she has met in show business. She also gave Leno, 63 — who’s famous for the all-denim outfits he wears everyday when he’s not appearing on TV — a Snuggie made entirely of denim.
Throughout her appearance on “The Tonight Show” on Wednesday, she and Leno reminisced — both seriously and comedically. Now watch her entire appearance, in two parts: