President Obama, Kevin Hart and More Pay Tribute to Jay Leno

Celebs honor Leno on his final taping of The Tonight Show.

Posted: 02/07/2014 08:45 AM EST
President Barack Obama, Kevin Hart

Jay Leno is finally ready to hand over the reigns of The Tonight Show to his successor Jimmy Fallon, but the talk show legend's celebrity friends couldn't let him depart with a lot of fanfare. An array of stars paid tribute to Leno during his final taping as host of The Tonight Show, some in person and others via satellite.

Oprah Winfrey
, Kim Kardashian and Chris Paul were among the stars who joined Billy Crystal on stage for a musical tribute. Others who joined in a pre-taped segment included Steve Carell, Olivia Wilde, President Obama, Bill Maher, Matt Damon, Miley Cyrus, Martha Stewart, Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Hart, Dana Carvey, Charlie Sheen, Tyler Perry, Larry the Cable Guy and Jimmy Fallon.

Unlike the stage, the audience was packed not with stars, but with friends and family of the departing host. Leno's wife Mavis Leno was front-and-center, along with his agent, lawyer and the men who work in his famous garage of classic cars.

The taping ended on a somber note, as Leno got choked up thanking his audience and long-time staff. He also acknowledge the many personal losses he suffered while hosting the show, including the deaths of both his mother and father.

Leno took over the show from previous host Johnny Carson in 1992, and — notwithstanding a brief hiatus from the show in 2009, when it was handed over to Conan O'Brien — has headlined for 22 years. He has clocked the most number of episodes of any host, at 4,610.

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(Photos: Courtesy NBC)

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