Jay Leno

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Jay Leno
Leno in June 2019
James Douglas Muir Leno

(1950-04-28) April 28, 1950 (age 74)
Alma materEmerson College
  • Host
  • comedian
  • writer
Years active1976–present
Mavis Nicholson (m. 1980)
Comedy career
  • Stand-up
  • television
  • film
GenresObservational comedy, black comedy, surreal humor, sketch comedy, insult comedy, satire
Subject(s)American culture, American politics, everyday life, pop culture, current events, human behavior, social awkwardness, gender differences
Notable works and rolesThe Tonight Show with Jay Leno
(host, 1992–2009, 2010–2014)
The Jay Leno Show
(host, 2009–2010)
Jay Leno's Garage (host, 2014–Present)

James Douglas Muir "Jay" Leno (/ˈlɛn/; born April 28, 1950) is an American comedian, actor, screenwriter, producer, television host and television presenter.

Early life[change | change source]

Leno was born James Douglas Muir Leno in New Rochelle, New York on April 28, 1950.[1] His mother Catherine (née Muir; 1911–1993) was a homemaker. She was born in Greenock, Scotland and came to the United States at the age of 11. Leno's father, Angelo (1910–1994), was an insurance salesman, who was born in New York, to immigrants from Flumeri, Italy.[2] Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and even though his high school guidance counselor recommended that he drop out of school, he later obtained a Bachelor's degree in speech therapy from Emerson College, where he started a comedy club in 1973. Leno's only sibling was his late older brother Patrick, who was a Vietnam veteran[3] and a lawyer.

Career[change | change source]

The Tonight Show[change | change source]

Leno worked on late night television. He became host of The Tonight Show in 1992 when Johnny Carson retired. In 2007, during the writer's strike, Leno sided with the writers, even though he returned to his show after two months (without the writers besides himself) so that his staff would not be out of work. Despite leading the late-night ratings, he was forced out as host of the Tonight Show in 2009 to make way for Conan O'Brien. On March 1, 2010, became The Tonight Show host once again, because of poor ratings with both himself and Conan O'Brien. Leno hosted his last episode of the Tonight Show on February 6, 2014.

The Jay Leno Show[change | change source]

He was a star of a primetime comedy show, The Jay Leno Show, which ran from September 14, 2009 to February 9, 2010.

Acting[change | change source]

He guest-starred twice on the Nickelodeon TV series The Fairly OddParents as the Crimson Chin. His character's name uses the fact that Leno has a large and square chin.

Personal life[change | change source]

Leno with President Barack Obama in March 2009

Since 1980, Leno has been married to Mavis Leno; they have no children.[4] Leno is dyslexic.[5]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Jay Leno Biography". The New York Times. Retrieved January 12, 2014.
  2. "Jay Leno Biography (1950–)". Film Reference. Retrieved January 12, 2014.
  3. Aivaz, Mike (October 18, 2007). "Obama on Leno: Hillary has declared 'mission accomplished' too soon". The Raw Story. Archived from the original on November 9, 2020. Retrieved May 11, 2008.
  4. "Jay Leno". Who's Who in America. Marquis. Archived from the original on May 7, 2009. Retrieved January 12, 2014.
  5. Carter, Bill. "Pushed From Late Night, Leno Is Set for Prime Time" The New York Times, September 12, 2009.

Other websites[change | change source]

Quotations related to Jay Leno at Wikiquote
Media related to Jay Leno at Wikimedia Commons

Media offices
Preceded by
Conan O'Brien
Host of The Tonight Show
March 1, 2010–February 6, 2014
Succeeded by
Jimmy Fallon
Preceded by
Johnny Carson
Host of The Tonight Show
May 25, 1992 – May 29, 2009
Succeeded by
Conan O'Brien