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For Jay Leno's final weeks, big guests slated for 'Tonight Show'

Jay Leno's run on The Tonight Show will finish the same way it began 22 years ago — with an appearance by Billy Crystal. Crystal was Leno's first guest when he took over for Johnny Carson in May 1992, and he and Garth Brooks will send Leno off in style on his final show on Feb. 6.

Crystal is just part of a lineup of big-name guests coming to the Tonight Show on NBC over the next two weeks, starting tonight with Charlie Sheen.

Leno's final weeks will include actor Sandra Bullock, country singer Blake Shelton, musician Lyle Lovett and NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley making his 24th visit.

Jimmy Fallon, who has hosted Late Night since 2009, is set to take over the Tonight Show gig from Leno on Feb. 17. He announced this week that his first show will feature guests Will Smith and U2. Not too shabby, Fallon.

Meanwhile, Seth Meyers will take Fallon's old slot when Late Night with Seth Meyers debuts Feb. 24, with Amy Poehler as the first guest.

Tampa Bay fans, take note: Leno will be at Clearwater's Capitol Theatre for a sold-out live show on Feb. 9, and a second performance on March 29.

Best Guests: Of Leno's final lineup, we're most excited to see these three. — Michelle Stark, Times staff writer

Jimmy Fallon

Feb. 3

Yes, the man taking over Leno's job will stop by the Tonight Show for a farewell visit. Hey, probably better to make friends with Leno now, lest you end up in a Conan situation, Jimmy. Trust us, Fallon is just as good a guest as he is a host, so this should be a delight.

Betty White

Feb. 3

Whenever there's a chance to celebrate the modern marvel that is Betty White, we're all in. The Hot in Cleveland actor turned 92 YEARS OLD on Friday and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. Plus, she's a game (and hilarious) late-night talk show guest. Never forget: She played beer pong with Jimmy Fallon on Late Night — twice.

Matthew McConaughey

Feb. 4

The McConnaissance is upon us, friends. The actor who made a name for himself as an oft-shirtless romcom staple has been on an upward career swing the past couple years. Heck, he just won a Golden Globe this month for his role in Dallas Buyers Club, and is a contender to take home an Oscar on March 2. McConaughey is everywhere lately, from bit parts in movies like The Wolf of Wall Street to a starring role on HBO's True Detective. Basically, he's the most interesting man in show biz right now.

For Jay Leno's final weeks, big guests slated for 'Tonight Show' 01/21/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 7:44pm]

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