I read that tonight, February 6th, is the final episode of The Tonight Show that Jay Leno will host. Although I love Jimmy Fallon, I have fond memories of being in the audience of both The Jay Leno Show and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and I thought he was as gracious to the audience members off-camera as he was funny on-camera. He seemed to be very genuine. And that in itself was refreshing in L.A.
Living in Los Angeles was one of our strangest locations, but it became one of my favorites, despite its complete contrast to the people and landscape of Pittsburgh. I would take Baxter on long walks around the Marina, or Venice, or even as far as Santa Monica (yes, I died on those walks). We would see a few actors repeatedly since they lived in the area. Other times, like during Oscar Week, we would see some pretty cool stars in unexpected places.
Hollywood was everywhere. I once watched the filming of an episode of Parenthood from our apartment in Marina del Rey, and we would often be out exploring and come across road closures due to filming. Even the landscape was rife with buildings and streets we recognized from one movie or another. And it was certainly odd to be able to just go be in the audience for talk shows, game shows, even primetime network television shows. (I never was able to get online fast enough to get tickets to Big Bang Theory or Ellen, however. 🙁 ).
We were fortunate to get tickets for Leno several times, and it was pretty cool that some of our visitors had the experience of watching Leno from the audience as well. I have no doubt that Leno will stay in the spotlight (if he wants to), whether he decides to just enjoy his retirement (those cars don’t drive themselves!) or whether he chooses to go back into entertainment. And I’m grateful to have gotten to be part of his audience a few times, and even to meet him once!
His final episode airs tonight in the United States at 11:35, which will be 6:35am here in South Africa, on Friday morning. Hope you get a chance to watch it.