Betty White, Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock and Jimmy Fallon will also be among his final stars

By Associated Press
January 20, 2014 07:50 AM
Credit: Chris Haston/NBC; Jennifer Graylock/INF

Jay Leno will close out his 22-year run as host of NBC’s The Tonight Show with a nod to the future and to the past.

His heir apparent, Jimmy Fallon, will kick off Leno’s final week with a guest appearance on Feb. 3. Fallon is taking over the gig after hosting NBC’s Late Night since 2009.

Leno’s final night, on Feb. 6, will feature Billy Crystal, who was Leno’s first guest in May 1992 when he succeeded Johnny Carson. Country superstar Garth Brooks will also appear.

Leno’s last week will also include Betty White, Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, country singer Blake Shelton, musician Lyle Lovett and NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley.

Meanwhile, Fallon’s Tonight show will debut Feb. 17, during the second week of the network’s Olympics coverage, with actor Will Smith and U2 as guests.

Because of the Olympics coverage, the Tonight show will air at midnight following the nightly games coverage from Sochi, Russia. On Feb. 24, the show will revert to its regular 11:35 p.m. slot.

NBC Entertainment president Robert Greenblatt is hoping to continue the network’s relationship with Leno after he leaves late night.

“I would love him to do specials with us, and we’ve got ideas about other sorts of shows he can host,” Greenblatt said Sunday at the Television Critics Association meeting. “As he told me recently, NBC has really been his only home.”

He said Leno didn’t want to discuss his future until he finished his final week.