Jay Leno dedicates patriot award to McCain

SPOTTED: Jay Leno dedicating a prestigious award to Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump hits McCain on ObamaCare vote GOP, White House start playing midterm blame game Arizona race becomes Senate GOP’s ‘firewall’ MORE (R-Ariz.) during a ceremony near where the late lawmaker is buried in Annapolis, Md.

The former “Tonight Show” host was one of four winners of the Patriot Awards, doled out by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society — and considered the “nation’s highest award for valor” — at its annual gala on Friday.

Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Trump identifies first soldier remains from North Korea | New cyber strategy lets US go on offense | Army chief downplays talk of 'Fort Trump' Pompeo backed continued US support in Yemen war over objections from staff: report Stand with veterans instead of predatory for-profit colleges MORE, Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGrassley panel scraps Kavanaugh hearing, warns committee will vote without deal Collins 'appalled' by Trump tweet about Kavanaugh accuser Poll: More voters oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination than support it MORE (R-Maine) and “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace were also honored.

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In a tribute video to Leno — which featured high-profile figures including former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenDems with political experience could have edge in 2020 primary, says pollster Ford taps Obama, Clinton alum to navigate Senate hearing Trump endorses Republican candidate in key NJ House race MORE singing his praises and lauding his work with military vets — the 68-year-old comedian got serious.

“No matter what he did,” Leno — who was among the mourners at McCain’s funeral at the National Cathedral in Washington — quipped of the senator, “he told the same two jokes every time.”

McCain, a former naval bomber pilot, died at 81 of brain cancer on Aug. 25 and was laid to rest earlier this month at the U.S. Naval Academy.

"We are within a stone’s throw from where Sen. John McCain was laid to eternal rest,” retired Adm. Michael Mullen noted. “He would remind us of the need to come together," the former Joint Chiefs chairman added.

Norah O'Donnell emceed the event, which honored the 72 living recipients of the medal, the four who passed away this year, and the five victims killed earlier this year in a shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper.

Also eyed at the awards ceremony: Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and wife Yumi Hogan, former Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), former Sen. Bill Brock (R-Tenn.), New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and girlfriend Linda Holliday, and retired executive chairman of Lockheed Martin, Robert J. Stevens.