Heeeeere's... Some other guy who's name begins with a 'J'...

Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, and now Jimmy Fallon. Lots of J's! (Conan and Steve Allen are anomalies)

Jay Leno said goodbye, again, last night. This time around, the show had an air of finality, something that was missing in Leno's 2009 leaving. The network's botched attempt to move Leno to primetime and replace him with Conan was dripping with the failure to understand one of its own greatest assets. This time around, there was again a sense the NBC had spilled the glass with which it should have been saying 'cheers', but the feel was more of transition than crash-&-burn.

Leno took over The Tonight Show from Johnny Carson on May 25, 1992. From the start, his job was impossible in the sense that he was replacing an American institution that stretched back to the very start of the 1960s. Americans had been through so much with Johnny, who held the post for 30 years - a complete Saturn cycle. It seems fitting that Leno's 22 years on Tonight is 3/4 of the Saturn cycle - point of recognizing what has been accomplished and then deciding (or having network suits decide) whether to continue or move on.

A look at the chart for Leno's first show as host is interesting. The midheaven is 15 Scorpio, which makes the 10th house Pluto ruler of the chart. Transiting Saturn entered the 10th house - destiny, public image, role in the world - last fall, and is only one degree away from the chart's Pluto today.

Saturn is also the chart's ruler, as Capricorn is rising. With such a Saturn/Pluto emphasis in the chart, it is no wonder that we see Saturnian timing so prominent, particularly as it conjuncts Pluto (for a television show, the MC may be more important than the Ascendant). It also says something about the show as an institution.

But wait - did I just say 'institution' again? Looking forward, we may well wonder about the future of The Tonight Show. After 22 years, Leno was still 'the new guy' to many Johnny fans. Jimmy Fallon will be playing to an audience that may largely be unaware of who Carson was, which is freeing for him, but it raises questions about Tonight as the late-night talk show. It's all a level playing field now. With the Uranus-Pluto square (check out the positions of Uranus and Neptune in the chart) so prominent now, institutions are up for review, for sure. If Fallon makes it seven years (1/4 of a Saturn cycle), that would be impressive in our faster-changing world.