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February 8, 2014 11:33am PST
Jay Leno finally signed off of The Tonight Show after 22 years of hosting. And he made it clear from the opening that it wasn’t by choosing. He began with the “joke” that his departure was not his own choice. “I don’t like goodbyes,” he said. “NBC does. Tonight is our last show for real. I don’t need to be fired three times. I get the hint.”
The show featured numerous celebrities being paraded out to wish Leno farewell. President Obama had this to say to Jay as he exited:
“Jay, you’ve made a whole lot of jokes about me over the years but do not worry: I’m not upset,” Obama said. “On a totally unrelated note, I’ve decided to make you my new ambassador to Antarctica. Hope you got a warm coat, funny man.”
Leno will be replaced with Jimmy Fallon who was hosting the show that started immediately after the end of Leno’s Tonight Show.
Leno was getting very good ratings which makes it odd that NBC reportedly offered Leno an additional $15 million to leave his post at The Tonight Show before the end of his contract which was set to expire in September, 2014.
Several sources have said that the move was made in order to give the much younger Jimmy Fallon a springboard for the new show with NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics this February.
Nevertheless, the question remains as to whether we was fired because of his constant criticism of Obama. Leno incorporated Benghazi-gate into his opening monologues. After a CBS News reporter finally probed Obama on changing Benghazi talking points, Leno “joked” that should a journalist “suddenly start asking real questions,” this would be “very dangerous to the White House.”
Leno was also very critical of the way Obama handled the IRS and NSA scandals when very few of his peers would even talk about them.
It is known that Leno writes his own jokes and he has said that he would continue hosting The Tonight Show until he keeled over. These facts only contribute even more to the suspicion that Leno was canned for being overly harsh on Obama.
One of Leno’s final jokes that he signed off the show with was, “And the worst thing about losing this job is I’m no longer covered by NBC. Now I’ll have to sign up for Obamacare.”
Whether he was fired because of his criticism of Obama or not, the fact remains that Jay Leno has unquestionably left while on top.
Do you think this is why he was fired? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.