Jay Leno celebrates 20 years of ‘The Tonight Show’ (video)

Celebrating 20 years.

There’s something rather interesting when it comes to the way in which Jay Leno celebrated 20 years on “The Tonight Show” Friday night — he really didn’t celebrate it much at all.

Maybe it’s because of everything that happened back when he got the show over David Letterman, or the incident with Conan O’Brien left a bad taste in even his own mouth — but regardless, Leno only mentioned the achievement in passing during his opening monologue Friday night:

“Twenty years ago today, we did our very first show … In that time we’ve seen a lot of stars come and go from the program – including me!” 

It’s really very easy to be cynical about Leno’s performance, mostly because he doesn’t draw the headlines that a Jon Stewart, a Letterman, or a Jimmy Fallon does. His show is calculated, traditional, and often even predictable — however, these are the sort of criticisms that you also see handed to a show like “Two and a Half Men.” Success speaks for itself, and Leno’s show remains the most-watched late-night program on all of TV, regardless of whether or not you like the guy.

Do you think Leno’s achievement is really a big deal, or do you admire Letterman more for having more late-night experience overall?

Photo: NBC

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