*Thursday afternoon, before Jay Leno taped his final episode as host of the “Tonight Show,” White House press secretary Jay Carney offered praise for the parting TV legend.

Carney’s boss was the first sitting president to appear on a late-night talk show. In total President Obama visited Leno’s couch six times, the last in August that marked the show’s best ratings since his last appearance in October 2012, according to That stint garnered the best Wednesday numbers for Leno since he returned to the show — until last night’s episode during this final week.

“[Obama] is a fan and he has enjoyed his times on the set with Jay Leno,” Carney said in response to a question during his daily press conference. “And it’s just the end of an era I think for a lot of folks who have watched him on the Tonight Show over all these years. So the President wishes him well. We all do. And like I said, we’ve enjoyed — I’ve enjoyed being with the President in the times he has been out there. And I know he has enjoyed the experience.”

Then it was Obama’s turn. The president taped a message for Jay that ran during the broadcast.

“Jay, you’ve made a whole lot of jokes about me over the years but do not worry: I’m not upset,” Obama deadpanned. “On a totally unrelated note, I’ve decided to make you my new ambassador to Antarctica. Hope you got a warm coat, funny man.”