Apr. 28th, 1950
New Rochelle, New York, USA
Guest TV Roles
The Crimson Chin
Jay Leno began his career in night clubs, where he worked 300 nights a year before hitting it big in 1992 with his own late-night talk show, "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" (1992). By that time he had appeared on television, acted in a few films (American Hot Wax (1978)) but hit paydirt with his late-night television appearances (he made a record number of visits to "Late Night with David Letterman" (1982)); for several years, he served as Johnny Carson (I)'s permanent guest host on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962). A big, sweet guy with a very good comedy routine, he vied with David Letterman to inherit Carson's seat when Johnny retired in 1992. His victory was well-publicized, but empty, though he did gain a measure of revenge when his show beat Letterman's for the Emmy in 1995. Though he consistently lost in the ratings to Letterman except on special occasions, like Hugh Grant (I)'s first TV appearance after his encounter with Divine Brown (I), he surged ahead in 1996, as CBS plunged further into oblivion.
- He and his wife of many years have no children.
- Maintaining classic cars and motorcycles is one of Jay's hobbies.
- Met his wife while performing at a comedy club in Los Angeles. Mavis was in the audience, and she laughed at all his jokes at the right time.
- In May 2003, he hosted NBC's morning talk show _"Today" (1952)_ (qv). In a May sweeps promotion, "Today" show host 'Katie Couric' (qv), in turn, hosted _"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" (1992)_ (qv).
- In November 2006, on his show, he ate a vegetable for the first time in 37 years.
- 'Billy Crystal' (qv) was his very first guest on Monday May 25, 1992. when Jay took over the late night throne vacated by 'Johnny Carson (I)' (qv) on Friday May 22, 1992.
- Had guests sign one of his Harley Davidsons (the first being 'Arnold Schwarzenegger' (qv)), after which the bike was auctioned off with the money going to help victims of the September 11th attacks.
- Owns over 30 classic cars and over 40 motorcycles. His very first automobile was a 1934 Ford V-8 truck, which he restored himself at the age of 14.