Apr. 28th, 1950
New Rochelle, New York, USA
Guest TV Roles
The Crimson Chin (Voiced)
Himself - Host
Jay Leno (Voiced)
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.
- In November 2006, on his show, he ate a vegetable for the first time in 37 years.
- His wife, Mavis, is active in the Feminist Majority Foundation which helps raise funds to combat the strict Islamic fundamentalist Taliban regime that requires women to wear head-to-toe shrouds. Her first appearance on _"The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962)_ (qv) was March 2, 1977.
- Under the teacher's comments of Jay's 5th-grade report card read, "If Jay spent as much time studying as he does trying to be a comedian, he'd be a big star."
- Raised in Andover, Massachusetts.
- Although Leno's _"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" (1992)_ (qv) predecessor 'Johnny Carson (I)' (qv) appeared on rival late night talk show _"Late Show with David Letterman" (1993)_ (qv) twice (in a walk-on stage appearance soon after Letterman's show debuted, and later in a filmed segment), Carson never once appeared on _"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" (1992)_ (qv) with his successor. Many, including Leno, took this as a sign that "Johnny likes Dave more" and would have preferred 'David Letterman' (qv) to have been his "Tonight Show" replacement.
- 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).
- He has recently started a tradition for his Thanksgiving day shows. Each year on Thanksgiving Day, the entire audience is made up of men and women of the Armed Forces. He is usually the only late-night host to tape a new show on Thanksgiving Day.