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 [error]); for several years, he served as Johnny Carson'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's first TV appearance after his encounter with Divine Brown, he surged ahead in 1996, as CBS plunged further into oblivion.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: [email protected]
Trade Mark (3)
White hair with black spot
Raised in Andover, Massachusetts.
He and his wife of many years have no children due to a mutual agreement.
Maintaining classic cars and motorcycles is one of Jay's hobbies.
Owns over 170 classic cars and over 150 motorcycles. His very first automobile was a 1934 Ford V-8 truck, which he restored himself at the age of 14.
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) was March 2, 1977.
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.
A 1972 graduate of Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Son of Catherine (Muir) and Angelo Leno. Jay's paternal grandparents were Italian. His mother was Scottish (born in Greenock, Scotland).
Growing up in Massachusetts, he suffered from dyslexia.
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."
Had guests sign one of his Harley Davidsons (the first being Arnold Schwarzenegger), after which the bike was auctioned off with the money going to help victims of the September 11th attacks.
Is a "seasoned" Monopoly player; likes to play with real money and the "race car" is his favorite playing piece.
Attended Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts. Dropped out after only one semester.
Is one of the few owners of the McLaren F1 supercar.
During the Michael Jackson 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). 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, Scott 'Carrot Top' Thompson, Roseanne Barr, Dennis Miller, and Drew Carey. 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.
He and his wife were contestants on the couples game show Tattletales (1982) in the early 80s.
In November 2006, on his show, he ate a vegetable for the first time in 37 years.
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.
Billy Crystal was his very first guest on Monday May 25, 1992. when Jay took over the late night throne vacated by Johnny Carson on Friday May 22, 1992.
Is famous for his collection of motorcycles, two of which were featured in the movie, Batman & Robin (1997).
In 2007, Forbes Magazine estimated his earnings for the year to be $ 32 million.
When he was a child, he fell down the stairs. As a result of the accident, his spleen was ripped and had to be removed.
On an episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992), he claimed that he got in his first auto accident a mere 81 hours after getting his driver's license.
Driver of Pace Car at 83rd Indianapolis 500; May 30, 1999.
The first guest on The Jay Leno Show (2009) was Jerry Seinfeld and the musical segment comprised of an ensemble performance by Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye West. (West also sat down for a brief unscheduled interview following his controversial 2009 MTV Video Music Awards incident which occurred the day before).
Confessed to guest Scarlett Johansson on his show (May 4, 2010) that he is an obsessive hoarder who still has every car magazine purchased since the 8th grade. Also revealed that he kept a Soupy Sub Sandwich at the studio sent to him by a lady from Rhose Island in 1993. Johansson was astounded when Leno produced the antique sandwich along with a bottle of 'brown' tomato ketchup.
Claims that after having seen his idol Elvis Presley perform "Teddy Bear" in the movie Loving You (1957), made him determined, at the tender age of seven, to pursue a career in show business.
Roomed with Freddie Prinze when both were fledgling entertainers, during which time he taught Prinze how to drive a car.
Received Hasty Pudding's Man of the Year award at Harvard University [February 4, 2011].
He owns three Shelby Cars.
Doesn't drink coffee, soup or any hot beverages. If it doesn't have ice in it, he's generally not interested.
Inducted into the Sturgis [South Dakota] Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2002.
Release of his book, "How to Be the Funniest Kid in the Whole Wide World (Or Just in Your Class)". 
Release of his autobiography, "Leading with My Chin" by Jay with Bill Zehme. 
Release of the book, "Eddie Krumble is the Clapper" by Dito Montiel. 
Release of the book, "The Leno Wit: His Life and Humor" by Jay Walker. 
Release of the book, "The Late Shift: Letterman, Leno and the Network Battle for the Night," by Bill Carter. 
Release of his book, "If Roast Beef Could Fly". 
Had a brother, who passed away.
Winner of the 2014 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, awarded by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.
Prefers to wear denim jeans and denim shirts as his casual clothing ,.
Does not like to wear sunglasses when driving.
Auctioned his Fiat 500, that sold for $ 385,000 with the proceeds going to a charity that helps wounded war veterans recover by providing them with temporary housing. [Aug 2012].
Bought the new 2017 Ford GT. [June 2017].
Even though his Beverly Hills home in Los Angeles has a swimming pool, Jay never uses it himself.
His star on the "Hollywood Walk of Fame" is located at 6780 Hollywood Blvd where Jay was, coincidentally, picked up twice for vagrancy as a fledgling comedian. 
As of 2019, Jay still performs around 200 stand-up gigs a year at various comedy venues throughout the U.S.
Personal Quotes (30)
"A historic operation occurred over in Boston. Doctors successfully transplanted tissue from a pig's brain to a man's brain - and the man's brain did not reject it. That pretty much confirms what women have been saying about men" (From The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992), April 25, 1995).
During the infamous O.J. Simpson murder trial: "Actor wannabe Kato Kaelin is very excited about this trial. It's the first call-back he's had in two years. 'Oh, a part! A part! I got another part!'"
In Huntington Beach, California, three police instructors lost their jobs after ordering two cadets who were caught smoking to eat cigarette sandwiches as punishment. And of course the tobacco companies are thinking, 'Cigarette sandwiches - what a great idea.'
A new medical study reports that men who eat ten pizzas a week are less likely to develop prostate problems at age 50. That's because they are usually dead by age 40.
They always say the Miss America Pageant isn't a beauty contest, it's really a scholarship program. If that's the case, why don't we just put all the contestants on Jeopardy! (1984) and pick Miss America that way? At least you get the smartest one.
"Looks like Darva 'Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?' Conger (Darva Conger) will pose naked in 'Playboy' Magazine. She says the photos will be tastefully done. And who else knows more about taste than a woman who marries a man she just met on Fox? " (From The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992) May 8, 2000).
"I saw something stupid in the paper today - a new alarm clock that makes no noise. It's for people who don't like loud noises. Instead, it slowly hits you with light and gets brighter and brighter until you wake up. I already have one of those ... it's called a window. " (From The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992) February 14, 2001)
"President James Garfield could write in Latin with one hand while writing in Greek with the other. I would give my right arm to be ambidextrous." (From The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992), March 9, 2001)
"In France, they're having trouble translating a lot of Internet terms into French. In France the law is you have to use French words. For example, there are no French words for surfing the Web, there aren't any French words for chat session, and there aren't any French words for hacker. Of course, a lot of other words don't translate to French either: military victory, deodorant ... "(From The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992) , May 4, 2001)
"Seems there's a big debate going on about whether a new TV commercial for Minute Maid orange juice portrays Popeye and Bluto as gay lovers or just good friends. The commercial shows Popeye and Bluto at the beach and riding a bicycle for two. I don ' t think that makes them gay. I think the fact they both find Olive Oyl attractive, that makes them gay. " (From The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992), June 4, 2001)
The reason there are two senators for each state is so that one can be the designated driver.
It is said that life begins when the fetus can exist apart from its mother. By this definition, many people in Hollywood are legally dead.
You aren't famous until my mother has heard of you.
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Teach a man to create an artificial shortage of fish and he will eat steak.
The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn't for any religious reasons. They couldn't find three wise men and a virgin.
[on the steering for his jet-powered motorcycle] "It's kinda like square-dancing with a fat lady: the fact that she does it at all is pretty amazing."
[on the now-defunct XFL] "Ratings for the XFL are so low that pretty soon they'll be able to address the viewers by name."
I see that Mike Tyson has just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It marks the first time that Mike Tyson has made it to Chapter 11 in anything.
"You cannot be mad at somebody who makes you laugh ... it's as simple as that."
Woman's World (7-4-06)
People don't mind if you have a lot of money if they know you're working for it.
The best way to ruin a comedy is to throw a lot of money at it.
My dad's idea of a good time is to go to Sears and walk around.
Riding a Ducati is like having sex with an aerobics instructor - you know, I'm exhausted and panting and it's going: 'Are you done, already?'
[on NBC replacing Conan O'Brien with Jay Leno after only seven months of his tenure hosting "The Tonight Show"] - Conan got screwed. I got screwed. This is TV. The reason show business pays a lot of money is so when you get screwed you've got something left over.
This week, Britney Spears sent out invitations for her marriage to Kevin Federline. But those aren't really invitations, those are more like season tickets. Once you have one, you get to go to all her weddings until January.
If God had wanted us to vote He would have given us candidates.
[Advice to young comedians when starting out] Comedy is like going to college, you do it for four years, then you graduate, then you start getting stand up jobs. You have to look at it like any other job, if you went to work for a big company, you would start in the mail room for a year, maybe nine months if you're exceptional, then you move up.
Happy birthday to Hugh Hefner. He just turned 88. You might remember, a year-and-a-half ago he married his 26-year-old fiancée, Crystal Harris. Or, as she calls it, bed-panning for gold.
I've live with five women in my life. Everyone was born on September 5th. Including my wife. I can always spot a September 5th. I guess I must just be attracted to women born on September 5th.