|Occupation:||TV Show Host|
|Height:||180 cm (5' 11'')|
|Birth Day:||April 28, 1950|
|Birth Place:||New Rochelle, United States|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
|180 cm (5' 11'')||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
He graduated from Emerson College with a speech therapy degree and founded his own comedy club.
Leno was born April 28, 1950, in New Rochelle, New York. His homemaker mother, Catherine (née Muir; 1911–1993), was born in Greenock, Scotland, and came to the United States at age 11. His father, Angelo (1910–1994), was an insurance salesman who was born in New York, to immigrants from Flumeri, Italy. Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts, and graduated from Andover High School. Leno obtained a bachelor's degree in speech therapy from Emerson College, where he started a comedy club in 1973. His older brother, Patrick (May 12, 1940 – October 6, 2002), was a Vietnam War veteran who worked as an attorney.
Leno made his first appearance on The Tonight Show on March 2, 1977, performing a comedy routine. During the 1970s, Leno appeared in minor roles in several television series and films, first in the 1976 episode "J.J. in Trouble" of Good Times and the same year in the pilot of Holmes & Yo-Yo. After an uncredited appearance in the 1977 film Fun with Dick and Jane, he played more prominent roles in 1978 in American Hot Wax and Silver Bears. Other films and television series from that period include Almost Heaven (1978), "Going Nowhere" (1979) from One Day at a Time, Americathon (1979), Polyester (1981), "The Wild One" (1981) from Alice, and both "Feminine Mistake" (1979) and "Do the Carmine" (1983) from Laverne & Shirley. Leno's only starring film role was the 1989 direct-to-video Collision Course, opposite Pat Morita. He also appeared numerous times on Late Night with David Letterman.
In addition, Leno appeared on three weeks' worth of episodes of the short-lived NBC game show Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour in 1983 and 1984.
Since 1985, Leno has been the Grand Marshal for the Love Ride, a motorcycle charity event which since its founding in 1984 has raised nearly $14 million for charities benefiting muscular dystrophy research, Autism Speaks, and in 2001, the September 11 attacks recovery.
Starting in 1986, Leno was a regular substitute host for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. In 1992, he replaced Carson as host amid controversy with David Letterman, who had been hosting Late Night with David Letterman since 1982 (aired after The Tonight Show), and whom many—including Carson himself—had expected to be Carson's successor. The story of this turbulent transition was later turned into a book and a movie. Leno continued to perform as a stand-up comedian throughout his tenure on The Tonight Show.
Leno has been married to Mavis Leno since 1980; the couple have no children. In 1993, during his first season as host of The Tonight Show, Leno's mother died at the age of 82 and in the following year, his father died at the age of 84. Leno's older brother Patrick Leno, a Vietnam veteran and graduate of Yale Law School, died in 2002 at the age of 62 as a result of complications from cancer.
In 2001, he and his wife donated $100,000 to the Feminist Majority Foundation's campaign to stop gender apartheid in Afghanistan, to educate the public regarding the plight of women in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. Mavis Leno is on the board of the Feminist Majority.
In 2004, Leno signed a contract extension with NBC which would keep him as host of The Tonight Show until 2009. Later in 2004, Conan O'Brien signed a contract with NBC under which O'Brien would become the host of The Tonight Show in 2009, replacing Leno at that time.
During the 2005 trial of Michael Jackson over allegations of child molestation, Leno was one of a few celebrities who appeared as a defense witness. In his testimony regarding a call by the accuser, Leno testified that he never called the police, no money was asked for, and there was no coaching – but the calls seemed unusual and scripted.
Leno has claimed that he has not spent any of the money he earned from The Tonight Show. Instead, he lives off his money from his stand-up routines. Leno reportedly earned $32 million in 2005. In 2014, he received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Emerson College where he also delivered the Commencement speech.
Howard Stern has also been a harsh critic of Leno before and following his Tonight Show timeslot change announcement; Stern appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien in 2006, and told O'Brien he felt it was unlikely that Leno would ever willingly give up The Tonight Show to anyone. During the conflict, Stern made many negative remarks directed at Leno while on the Late Show with David Letterman.
On December 8, 2008, it was reported that Leno would remain on NBC and move to a new hour-long show at 10 p.m. Eastern Time (9 p.m. Central Time) five nights a week. This show followed a similar format to The Tonight Show, was filmed in the same studio facility and retained many of Leno's most popular segments. Late Night host Conan O'Brien was his successor on The Tonight Show.
During the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike, Leno was accused of violating WGA guidelines by writing his own monologue for The Tonight Show. While NBC and Leno claim there were private meetings with the WGA where there was a secret agreement allowing this, the WGA denied such a meeting. Leno answered questions in front of the Writers Guild of America, West trial committee in February 2009 and June 2009, and when the WGAW published its list of strike-breakers on August 11, 2009, Leno was not on the list.
On April 23, 2009, Leno checked himself into a hospital with an undisclosed illness. He was released the following day and returned to work on Monday, April 27. The two subsequently canceled Tonight Show episodes for April 23 and 24 were Leno's first in 17 years as host. Initially, the illness that caused the absence was not disclosed, but later Leno told People magazine it was for exhaustion.
Because Leno's show continued to lead all late-night programming in the Nielsen ratings, the pending expiration of Leno's contract led to speculation about whether he would become a late-night host for another network after his commitment to NBC expired. Leno left The Tonight Show on Friday, May 29, 2009, and Conan O'Brien took over on June 1, 2009.
Jay Leno's new show, titled The Jay Leno Show, debuted on September 14, 2009. It was announced at the Television Critics Association summer press tour that it would feature one or two celebrities, the occasional musical guest, and keep the popular "Headlines" segments, which would air near the end of the show. First guests included Jerry Seinfeld, Oprah Winfrey (via satellite), and a short sit-down with Kanye West discussing his controversy at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, which had occurred the night before.
In 2009, he donated $100,000 to a scholarship fund at Salem State College (now Salem State University) in honor of Lennie Sogoloff, who gave Leno his start at his jazz club, Lennie's-on-the-Turnpike.
In their new roles, neither O'Brien nor Leno succeeded in delivering the viewing audiences the network anticipated. On January 7, 2010, multiple media outlets reported that beginning March 1, 2010, Jay Leno would move from his 10 p.m. weeknight time slot to 11:35 p.m., due to a combination of pressure from local affiliates whose newscasts were suffering, and both Leno's and O'Brien's poor ratings. Leno's show would be shortened from an hour to 30 minutes. All NBC late night programming would be preempted by the 2010 Winter Olympics between February 15 and 26. This would move The Tonight Show to 12:05 a.m., a post-midnight timeslot for the first time in its history. O'Brien's contract stipulated that NBC could move the show back to 12:05 a.m. without penalty (a clause put in primarily to accommodate sports preemptions).
On January 21, it was announced that NBC had struck a deal with O'Brien. It was decided that O'Brien would leave The Tonight Show. The deal was made that O'Brien would receive a $33 million payout and his staff of almost 200 would receive $12 million in the departure. O'Brien's final episode aired on Friday, January 22, 2010. Leno returned as host of The Tonight Show following the 2010 Winter Olympics on March 1, 2010.
On July 1, 2010, Variety reported that total viewership for Jay Leno's Tonight Show had dropped from 5 million to 4 million for the second quarter of 2010, compared to the same period in 2009. Although this represented the lowest second-quarter ratings for the show since 1992, Tonight was still the most-watched late night program, ahead of ABC's Nightline (3.7 million) and Late Show with David Letterman (3.3 million).
Leno has faced heated criticism and some negative publicity for his perceived role in the 2010 Tonight Show conflict. Critics have pointed to a 2004 Tonight Show clip, in which Leno said he would allow O'Brien to take over without incident. At the time, Leno stated he did not want O'Brien to leave for a competing network, adding, "I'll be 59 when [the switch occurs], that's five years from now. There's really only one person who could have done this into his 60s, and that was Johnny Carson; I think it's fair to say I'm no Johnny Carson." Leno also described The Tonight Show as a dynasty, saying, "You hold it and hand it off to the next person. And I don't want to see all the fighting." At the end of the segment, he said, "Conan, it's yours! See you in five years, buddy!"
In August 2012, Leno auctioned his Fiat 500, which was sold for $385,000 with all the proceeds going to a charity that helps wounded war veterans recover by providing them with temporary housing.
On April 3, 2013, NBC announced that Leno would leave The Tonight Show in spring 2014, with Jimmy Fallon as his designated successor.
Leno's final show as the host of the Tonight Show was on February 6, 2014 with his final guest Billy Crystal and musical guest Garth Brooks, along with a few surprise guests, including Jack Black, Kim Kardashian, Jim Parsons, Sheryl Crow, Chris Paul, Carol Burnett, and Oprah Winfrey.
Hosting the 2014 Genesis Prize award ceremony in Jerusalem, Leno made jokes mocking then-President Barack Obama and then-Secretary of State John Kerry, accusing Obama of "trying to break" the U.S.'s relationship with Israel.
In a 2015 interview with The Jerusalem Post, Leno said, "I always considered Israel as not only the only democracy in the Middle East, I think it’s the purest, because every Israeli voter seems to have his own political party." He also added about Israel's relations with other Middle East countries: "Israel is so efficient in defending itself and so good at it, that to the rest of the world it looks like bullying."
In August 2020, Leno faced criticism for expressing support for Ellen DeGeneres despite a workplace investigation into toxic behavior and sexual misconduct and harassment claims made against producers on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Currently, Jay Leno is 70 years, 11 months and 19 days old. Jay Leno will celebrate 71st birthday on a Wednesday 28th of April 2021.
Find out about Jay Leno birthday activities in timeline view here.