White House press secretary Jay Carney on Thursday called the departure of Jay Leno from NBC's “The Tonight Show” an “end of an era.”

“The president wishes him well – we all do,” President Obama’s top spokesman said of Leno, who will leave the late-night show after 22 years behind the desk.

Obama has a long history with the comedian, having appeared on Leno's show six times -- including four as president.

The president has used the late-night forum to spread his message far more than any of his predecessors.

Media analysts have noted that Leno was often able to extract answers from Obama on a range of serious subjects. The last interview between the two in August touched on the uproar over National Security Agency surveillance techniques and the U.S. relationship with Russia.

Jimmy Fallon will take over the show beginning on Feb. 17.