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(NBC News) - Jay Leno's reign on "The Tonight Show" comes to an end this week.

He will step down as host after Thursday's show, clearing the way for Jimmy Fallon to take over later this month.

Leno says this transition will be different from his brief departure five years ago, when Conan O'Brien took over "Tonight" in an ill-fated host shuffle.

"Well, I think this will be a little more muted. We did a last night once before," Leno says. "It'll be emotional I think, but it'll be different."

Not only is Jay Leno's time as host of "Tonight" coming to an end, but so is the show's nearly 42 years in what Johnny Carson used to call "beautiful downtown Burbank".

The show will return to its birthplace, New York City, when Fallon takes over.

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