Billy Crystal – Jay Leno’s first guest on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” 17 years ago – returned to the show on Thursday to chat with Leno about his retiring from the show, Twitter, the Yankees and a recent injury. But the comedian brought the house down with a show-stopping number to commemorate the end of Leno’s 17-year run on the show and his move to primetime in September.
In a number that was reminiscent of Crystal’s music montages as host of the Oscar telecasts, popular show tunes such as “That Face” were adapted to reflect some of the things “We’ll miss most about Jay Leno.” Some of the lyrical highlights included “People are stupid when Jay goes walking,” sung to the tune of “People Are Strange” while the lyrics of “My Favorite Things” were adapted to “Mustangs and Mazdas and shiny Mercedes, Model T Fords that he steals from old ladies.”
But when Crystal pointed out that they weren’t really saying goodbye — just waiting for Leno to move to primetime — a 12-person chorus danced out to the music of “Moving On Up,” the series theme from “The Jeffersons” and took it to the rafters with “You’re movin’ on down, down to primetime, you’re giving a new time slot a try.” The song ended with Crystal singing, “You’ll be done at 11, Mr. Leno you’re changing my life! Now there’ll be time to watch your show and still have sex with my wife!”