The forced retirement of Jay Leno is yet another reminder of the moral decay of America.

Jay was the last of his kind.  He carried on the tradition begun by Johnny Carson when Johnny retired 22 years ago.  Jay, like Johnny, was a class act. His monologue was genuinely funny without being crass. He was kind to his guests, never demeaning or ridiculing them.

Sandra Bullock was his penultimate guest and described him tearfully,

You’ve always been so kind,” the Oscar winner told the comedian as tears began to well up. “You were always so welcoming and every single person on your crew was that way consistently, and I just felt special even when I felt very insecure. And everyone, I think, in this room and in this country, has felt that every day that you’ve been in their homes. I’m so grateful that I got to be a part of this. (Entertainment Weekly By Hillary Busis on Feb 6, 2014 at 10:29AM   @hillibusterr)

Jay is being replaced by a younger host- Jimmy Fallon whose humor is raw and more juvenile.  On Jimmy’s final show his “highlight” clips were of his sidekick Steve Higgins’ pants falling off, and his musician Questlove vomiting water.

The real question is-why this forced retirement?  Jay had the highest viewership of any of the late night shows in his time slot by nearly a million viewers over the second place competitor David Letterman. In the coveted 18-49 demographic he has increased 7% over 2012 and outnumbers #2 Jimmy Kimmel in this category by over 500,000. He ranked #1 in ad revenues as well with over $125 million in 2013(The Hollywood Reporter 2/5/2014

What is NBC thinking?

Quitting while you are ahead may be the motivation but in the money grubbing world of network TV, it appears that NBC is kissing the moolah goodbye.

The real losers are the American audience who now have no option but to endure another potty mouthed late night host.

Adieu Jay- the last of an era-the turn of the tide from class, elegance and kindness.  You will be missed and a kinder, gentler America as well.