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.
- "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.
- Growing up in Massachusetts, he suffered from dyslexia.
- In 2007, Forbes Magazine estimated his earnings for the year to be $32 million.
- During the 'Michael Jackson (I)' (qv) trial in February of 2005, Jay Leno had been subpoenaed to testify at the trial. Judge Rodney S. Melville issued a "gag order" barring anyone involved in the case from discussing it outside court, and the comedian feared that the order would apply to his monologues on _"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" (1992)_ (qv). He was allowed to write the jokes but not tell them. To get around this order, Leno called on his fellow comedians to tell the jokes he wrote for him. Some of these people included 'Brad Garrett (I)' (qv), 'Scott 'Carrot Top' Thompson' (qv), 'Roseanne' (qv), 'Dennis Miller (I)' (qv), and 'Drew Carey' (qv). They came out and told the jokes while Leno stood beside them on stage. On March 11, 2005, the judge had the gag order lifted. In a statement, he explained, "I am not attempting to prevent anybody from making a living in the normal way that they make their living," adding that Leno may not talk about the specific things to which he is a witness.
- '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.
- 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).
- Is a die hard fan of 'Elvis Presley' (qv), 'Patrick Rondat' (qv), and 'Johnny Cash (I)' (qv).
- He and his wife were contestants on the couples game show _"Tattletales" (1982)_ (qv) in the early 80s.