Apr. 28th, 1950
New Rochelle, New York, USA
Guest TV Roles
The Crimson Chin (Voiced)
Himself - Host
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.
- 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.
- '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.
- Driver of Pace Car at 83rd Indianapolis 500; May 30, 1999.
- Maintaining classic cars and motorcycles is one of Jay's hobbies.
- A 1972 graduate of Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
- 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.
- "The Mike Douglas Show"(1961) was the first talk show appearance for Jay Leno which aired on October 19, 1977. Danny Thomas and Teddy Pendergrass were also guests.
- He will step down as host of the _"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" (1992)_ (qv) in 2009. His replacement will be current NBC _"Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (1993)_ (qv) host 'Conan O'Brien' (qv).