After 22 years, Leno bids farewell to ‘Tonight’

This Nov. 5, 2012 photo released by NBC shows Jay Leno, host of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," on the set in Burbank, Calif. After 22 years, Leno will host his last show on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014. Jimmy Fallon starts his NBC "Tonight Show" on Feb. 17, 2014, from New York. (AP Photo/NBC, Paul Drinkwater)
This Nov. 5, 2012 photo released by NBC shows Jay Leno, host of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," on the set in Burbank, Calif. After 22 years, Leno will host his last show on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014. Jimmy Fallon starts his NBC "Tonight Show" on Feb. 17, 2014, from New York. (AP Photo/NBC, Paul Drinkwater)

BURBANK, Calif. (AP) — Jay Leno said goodbye to “The Tonight Show” once before, but that turned out to be just a rehearsal. On Thursday, Leno is stepping down for the second and presumably last time, making way for successor Jimmy Fallon in New York. Leno gave up NBC’s “Tonight” in 2009 to short-lived host Conan O’Brien, then reclaimed it in 2010.

Hosting the late-night show has been a wonderful job, Leno said last week, but this is the right time to leave.

The 63-year-old Leno said he plans to continue playing comedy clubs, indulging his passion for cars and doing such TV work as comes his way. He doesn’t plan to host another-late show, he said.

Fallon starts his “Tonight Show” on Feb. 17, with NBC hoping he rides the promotional wave of its Winter Olympics coverage the next two weeks.

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