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Leno's Finale Isn't Memorable

The most memorable thing about the last installment of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on Friday was how little memorable there was about it.

The "surprise" he promised at the end was sweet. Leno introduced the 17-year-daughter of the band's trombone player, who was born in 1992 a few weeks after Leno took over the show from Johnny Carson. Then Leno talked about all the couples on the staff who had met and married and proclaimed his legacy as being all the children they had.

The curtain revealed 68 children had been born over the 17 years in which Leno presided over the late night show.

Leno controlled his emotions throughout the show, which made the hour practically seem like any other episode in May.

The monologue -- which included an obligatory joke about Jon and Kate -- wasn't anything to write home about.The interview in which Leno's replacement, Conan O'Brien, talked about having "big shoes'  to fill, was routine and ended with O'Brien being cut-off for a commercial as he tried to return the host's praise. 

Even the song, "Sweet Baby James,"  that a Leno favorite , James Taylor, sang for the host didn't seem to move Leno that much.

The Associated Press report on the finale Saturday said that Leno's voice was "thickened" by emotion during his legacy talk at the end. But I didn't see that. In fact, I didn't see much emotion throughout the routine hour.

The finale did pull in hefty numbers locally. The hour averaged an 11.6 rating, which represents 11.6 percent of area households and easily would have been NBC's top prime time show.  The final 15 minutes had a 9.4 rating at 1:15 a.m. which also is impressive.

What did you think of Leno's finale?

-- Alan Pergament. 


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About Talkin' TV

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament has continued to blog about television topics since retiring in 2010 as The News' television writer after 28 years on the beat. From local on-air personalities to ratings to the latest on network and cable programming, he keeps you informed.

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