Leno passing torch as ‘Tonight Show’ leaves Burbank

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It’s the end of an era for Jay Leno, and for “beautiful downtown Burbank.”

After a 22-year run, (that was interrupted oh-so briefly when Conan O’Brien took the chair) Leno will host his last “Tonight Show” this evening in the former NBC Studios in Burbank. Leno is giving the way to the younger Jimmy Fallon and the production is going to New York. “The Tonight Show” has been in Burbank home for 40 years, making it one of the longest continuous productions in L.A. history.

nbcLeno, who’s known as one of the hardest working people in show business, says he would like to return to TV, though he’s vowing not to do another talk show that in his words would be “Tonight Show-lite.” In the meantime, he’ll keep up his busy stand-up schedule and tinker with his collection of classic cars. Not one to wallow in nostalgia, Leno’s first post-“Tonight Show” gigs start this weekend in Florida.

Leno recently spoke to TV Guide L.A. Bureau Chief Michael Schneider about his departure from the “Tonight Show” and his plans for the future. Schneider says Leno is in the unusual position of leaving a TV show that is still on top in the ratings