It was bittersweet to watch Jay Leno bid farewell to the "Tonight Show" this last week. I mean, regardless of your opinion of the guy, he was the second longest tenured host of that show, second only to the late, great Johnny Carson.
That's a heck of a run.
I grew up on late-night television. I was always up far later than my grandmother (who raised me) ever thought I was. (I'm just happy she didn't question why I started drinking coffee at such a young age.)
I watched them all... Leno, Letterman, Arsenio (the dog pound!), Conan, Kilborn (remember him?).. I watched them because I knew that one day, I wanted to do what they did.
I mean, these guys got to tell jokes, interview people, and make a great living doing it! (Forget what my guidance counselor told me - THIS is what I want to do!)
But seriously.. in my mind, there could be nothing more fulfilling than being that person who people turn to when they just want to laugh, smile or feel better about their day. What a great feeling that must be!
And Jay was one of the best.
What we don't always know is that often times, we mean just as much to them as they do to us.
As Jay says in his farewell, he lost his mother, father and brother during his first few years on the show.
After that, the crew.. the show.. and WE as his viewers.. became his family.
So, just like family does.. as he helped us get through tough times, we did so for him... for 22 years.
I can see where it would be hard to walk away.
You know, if I can one day look back on my career and say that I brightened the days of a fraction of as many people as Jay did, I'll consider it a success.
Whether you know it or not, you are my family too.. and even though we may only get to connect a couple days a week, there is still no greater feeling than being able to bring a smile to your face.
And I thank you for allowing me the chance.
Best of luck to Jay. Your family will always be there for ya.
-Marty (Let's connect on IG and Twitter: @MartyScottShow)