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Leno, Jay 1950–

Leno, Jay 1950-

PERSONAL

Full name, James Douglas Muir Leno; born April 28, 1950, in New Rochelle, NY; son of Angelo (in insurance business) and Cathryn (a homemaker) Leno; married Mavis Nicholson (a writer), November 30, 1980. Education: Emerson College, B.A., 1973; briefly attended Bentley College. Avocational Interests: Antique motorcycles and automobiles, playing Monopoly.

Addresses:

Office—c/o NBC Enterprises, 3500 Olive Dr., 15th Floor, Burbank, CA 91510-7885. Agent—International Creative Management, 10250 Constellation Way, 9th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90067. Publicist—Dick Guttman, Guttman Associates, 118 South Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90212.

Career:

Comedian, television host, actor, writer, and producer. Comedy and Magic Club, Hermosa Beach, CA, weekend performer, beginning c. 1978; standup comedian in comedy clubs throughout the United States; performed as opening act for such entertainers as Perry Como, Johnny Mathis, John Denver, Henry Mancini, James Brown, and Tom Jones; appeared in commercials, including ads for Tostitos snack foods, 2002. Formerly worked as Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz auto mechanic and as delivery person, Boston, MA. JDM Foundation, founder.

Awards, Honors:

Named best political humorist, Washingtonian; Writers Guild of America Award nomination, 1989, for Jay Leno's Family Comedy Hour; Emmy Award (with others), outstanding variety or musical, 1995, Emmy Award nominations (with others), outstanding variety, music, or comedy series, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2005, and Emmy Award nominations, outstanding performance in a variety or music program, 1998, 2005, People's Choice Award nominations, favorite late night talk show host, 2005, and favorite talk show host, 2007, and People's Choice Award, favorite late night talk show host, 2006, all for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno; received star on Hollywood Walk of Fame, 2000; TV Guide Award nomination, talk—variety star of the year, 2001.

CREDITS

Television Appearances; Series:

The Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. Show, CBS, 1977.

"Permanent" guest host, The Tonight Show (also known as The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson), NBC, 1987-92.

Host, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC, 1992—broadcast monthly on the Internet as Virtual Jay, 1999.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Gas station attendant, Holmes and Yo-Yo, 1976.

Himself, JAG, CBS, 1995.

Himself, Veronica's Closet, NBC, 1997.

Himself, DAG, 2000.

Television Appearances; Movies:

(Uncredited) Himself, Y2K (also known as Countdown to Chaos and Y2K: The Movie), 1999.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Private Braverman, Snafu, 1976.

On Location: Freddie Prinze and Friends, 1976.

Playboy's Playmate Party, 1977.

Danny, Almost Heaven, 1978.

The Jay Leno Special, 1979.

The Real Trivial Pursuit, 1985.

Disneyland's Summer Vacation Party, 1986.

Jay Leno and the American Dream, Showtime, 1986.

The Jay Leno Show, NBC, 1986.

Our Planet Tonight, NBC, 1987.

Host, Jay Leno's Family Comedy Hour (also known as Family Comedy Hour), NBC, 1987.

The Television Academy Hall of Fame, 1987, 1990.

Late Night with David Letterman Fifth Anniversary Show, NBC, 1987.

Happy Birthday Bob—50 Stars Salute Your 50 Years with NBC, NBC, 1988.

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson 26th Anniversary Special, NBC, 1988.

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson 27th Anniversary Special, NBC, 1989.

The Barbara Walters Special, ABC, 1989.

Comic Relief V, HBO, 1992.

Donahue: The 25th Anniversary, NBC, 1992.

Hats Off to Minnie Pearl: America Honors Minnie Pearl, The Nashville Network, 1992.

Bob Hope: The First Ninety Years, NBC, 1993.

Count on Me, PBS, 1993.

A Gala for the President at Ford's Theatre, ABC, 1993.

Harley-Davidson's 90th Birthday Blast, Showtime, 1993.

What Is This Thing Called Love?, ABC, 1993.

It's Just a Ride, Comedy Central, 1994.

Look Who's Laughing, 1994.

A Comedy Salute to Andy Kaufman, NBC, 1995.

Kelsey Grammar Salutes Jack Benny, NBC, 1995.

NBC's New Year's Eve with "Friday Night," NBC, 1995.

The Show Formerly Known as The Martin Short Show, NBC, 1995.

Very Personal with Naomi Judd, The Family Channel, 1996.

(In archive footage) Classic Stand-up Comedy of Television, 1996.

Rodney Dangerfield's 75th Birthday Toast, HBO, 1997.

Steve Allen's 75th Birthday Celebration, PBS, 1997.

Who Makes You Laugh? 2, ABC, 1997.

Dream Machines, 1998.

Sam Kinison: Why Did We Laugh?, Comedy Central, 1998.

Harley Mania, E! Entertainment Television, 1998.

Tony Bennett: An All-Star Tribute—Live by Request, Arts and Entertainment, 1998.

Hollywood Salutes Arnold Schwarzenegger: An American Cinematheque Tribute, 1998.

"The Funeral" sequence, Jerry Seinfeld: "I'm Telling Your for the Last Time" (also known as Jerry Seinfeld: "I'm Telling Your for the Last Time"—Live on Broadway), 1998.

Jerry Seinfeld: Master of His Domain, 1998.

"Motorcycles," Modern Marvels, History Channel, 1999.

ABC 2000: The Millennium, 1999.

The Talk Show Story, 2000.

Ed McMahon: America's Sidekick, Arts and Entertainment, 2000.

25 Years of No. 1 Hits: Arista Records' Anniversary Celebration, 2000.

The Comedy Store: The E! True Hollywood Story, E! Entertainment Television, 2001.

Party Animals (orHow to Get to the White House in 5 Easy Steps), 2001.

Annie Goes to Hollywood, BB, 2001.

Richard Simmons: Fit for Life, Arts and Entertainment, 2001.

American Classics, History Channel, 2001.

(In archive footage) 50 Years of NBC Late Night, NBC, 2001.

30 by 30: Kids Flicks—Party Animals, HBO, 2001.

Paul McCartney: Back in the U.S., ABC, 2002.

MTV Icon: Aerosmith, MTV, 2002.

Presenter, Hollywood Salutes Nicolas Cage: An American Cinematheque Tribute, TNT, 2002.

NBC 75th Anniversary Special (also known as NBC 75th Anniversary Celebration), NBC, 2002.

Diet Coke with Lemon Celebrates 40 Years of Laughter: At the Improv, NBC, 2002.

Heroes of Black Comedy, Comedy Central, 2002.

100 Years of Hope and Humor, NBC, 2003.

VH1's 200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons, VH1, 2003.

(In archive footage) 100 Most Shocking Moments in Entertainment, E! Entertainment Television, 2003.

200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons, VH1, 2003.

(In archive footage) Comedy Central Presents: 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time, Comedy Central, 2004.

Himself (in archive footage), Long Way Round, Sky, 2004.

Oprah Winfrey: The E! True Hollywood Story, E! Entertainment Television, 2004.

Road & Track: Best Car 2004, Speed Channel, 2004.

TV Guide Close Up: From Comedy Club to Primetime, 2004.

Cast presenter, The Museum of the Moving Image Salutes John Travolta, USA Network, 2004.

Boomer Nation, Arts and Entertainment, 2004.

(In archive footage) 101 Biggest Celebrity Oops, E! Entertainment Television, 2004.

(In archive footage) 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time, Comedy Central, 2004.

Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope, multiple channels, 2005.

Assembling "Robots:" The Magic, the Music, & the Comedy, Fox, 2005.

AutoRox, Spike, 2005.

Voice of Nega-Chin, The Jimmy Timmy Power Hour 3: The Jerkinators! (animated), Nickelodeon, 2006.

Forbes Celebrity 100: Who Made Bank?, E! Entertainment Television, 2006.

Legends: Rodney Dangerfield, Comedy Central, 2006.

(Uncredited) Host (in archive footage), Steve Irwin: A Tribute, Seven Network, 2006.

(Uncredited) Host (in archive footage), The Crocodile Hunter: A Tribute to Steve Irwin, Nine Network, 2006.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Joey Mitchell, "Feminine Mistake," Laverne & Shirley (also known as Laverne & Shirley & Company and Laverne & Shirley & Friends), ABC, 1979.

Patient, "J. J. in Trouble," Good Times, CBS, 1981.

Bones, "The Wild One," Alice, CBS, 1981.

Contestant, Tattletales (game show), 1982.

Bobby Bitts, "Do the Carmine," Laverne & Shirley (also known as Laverne & Shirley & Company and Laverne & Shirley & Friends), ABC, 1983.

Himself, "Performance Artist," The Larry Sanders Show, HBO, 1993.

Himself, "The Telethon," The Sinbad Show (also known as Sinbad), Fox, 1993.

Voice of Don, "Oops," Frasier, NBC, 1993.

Himself, "Will's up a Dirt Road," The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, NBC, 1994.

Himself, "The One with Mrs. Bing," Friends, NBC, 1995.

"The Script Formerly Known as …," The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, NBC, 1995.

Voice, "The Frog Prince," Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child, HBO, 1995.

Jay, "Brother, Can You Spare a Hot Rod?," Home Improvement, ABC, 1995.

Himself, "Just My Dog," Mad About You, NBC, 1995.

Himself, "Sniper: Part 1," Homicide: Life on the Street (also known as Homicide), NBC, 1996.

The Rodman World Tour, MTV, 1996.

Himself, "The Team Player," Wings, NBC, 1996.

Himself, "The Shower Head," Seinfeld, NBC, 1996.

Himself, "Go Girlz," Ellen (also known as These Friends of Mine), ABC, 1996.

Himself, "The Taxman Cometh," The Nanny, CBS, 1996.

Himself, "Dick Jokes," 3rd Rock from the Sun (also known as Life as We Know It and 3rd Rock), 1996.

Himself, "Talk Show," Baywatch, syndicated, 1997.

Himself, "Secretary's Day," Just Shoot Me!, NBC, 1997.

Himself, "Caroline and the Bad Trip," Caroline in the City, NBC, 1997.

Himself, "Home Alone," Home Improvement, ABC, 1998.

Voice, "The Last Temptation of Krusty," The Simpsons (animated), Fox, 1998.

Voice of Kitty, "Cliffhanger," South Park (animated), Comedy Central, 1998.

Voice, "City on the Edge of Forever," South Park (animated), Comedy Central, 1998.

Himself, "Diamonds Are a Val's Best Friend," V.I.P. (also known as V.I.P.—Die Bodyguards), syndicated, 1998.

The Entertainment Business, Bravo, 1998.

Voice of Kitty, "Cartman's Mom Is a Dirty Slut," South Park (animated), Comedy Central, 1998.

Voice of Lucky, "Blind Faith," Providence, NBC, 1999.

Himself, "Valma and Louise," V.I.P. (also known as V.I.P.—Die Bodyguards), syndicated, 1999.

Voice, "The Delivery," Dilbert (animated), 2000.

Himself, "20 Hours in L.A.," The West Wing, NBC, 2000.

Himself, Passions, ABC, 2000.

Lewis's boss, "Drew Live II," The Drew Carey Show, ABC, 2000.

Himself, "T&A," The Chris Isaak Show, Showtime, 2001.

Himself, "The Pit," Titus, Fox, 2001.

Voice of the Crimson Chin, "Chin Up!/Dog's Day Afternoon," The Fairly OddParents (animated), Nickelodeon, 2001.

Voice of the Crimson Chin, "Boy Toy/Inspection Detection, " The Fairly OddParents (animated), Nickelodeon, 2002.

Himself, "Liotta? Liotta?," Just Shoot Me!, NBC, 2002.

Himself, "My Own Private Practice Guy," Scrubs, NBC, 2003.

Himself, "Pink Gold," The Bernie Mac Show, Fox, 2003.

(In archive footage) Celebrities Uncensored, E! Entertainment Television, 2003.

Himself, "Ashlee Goes Platinum," The Ashlee Simpson Show, MTV, 2004.

Himself, "Joey and the Tonight Show," Joey, NBC, 2005.

Himself, "Betrayed," The Contender, NBC, 2005.

Himself, "Valerie Does Another Classic Leno," The Comeback, HBO, 2005.

Voice of the Crimson Chin, "Catman Meets the Crimson Chin/Teeth for Two," The Fairly OddParents (animated), Nickelodeon, 2005.

(In archive footage) "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room," Independent Lens, PBS, 2005.

(In archive footage) Hardball with Chris Matthews, CNBC, 2005.

(In archive footage) NewsNight with Aaron Brown, Cable News Network, 2005.

(In archive footage) The Footy Show, Nine Network, 2005.

Voice, "Patriot Games," Family Guy (animated; also known as Padre de familia), Fox, 2006.

(In archive footage) "Life-Changing Moments," 20 to 1, Nine Network, 2007.

Also appeared in an episode of Hidden Howie: The Private Life of a Public Nuisance, NBC.

Television Guest Appearances; Episodic:

The Mike Douglas Show, syndicated, 1977.

The John Davidson Show, 1981.

The Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour, 1984.

Late Night with David Letterman, NBC, 1984, 1989.

Saturday Night Live (also known as NBC's Saturday Night, Saturday Night, and SNL), NBC, 1986, 1992, 1994.

Advanced English: Interviews with the Famous, 1995.

"Tabloids," Dennis Miller Live, 1995.

"Bad Television," Dennis Miller Live, 1996.

Howard Stern, E! Entertainment Television, multiple appearances, between 1996 and 2001.

"Movies," Dennis Miller Live, 1997.

Himself, "The Cameo Show," Muppets Tonight! (also known as Les Muppets), 1997.

Himself, "The Best of Muppets Tonight!," Muppets Tonight! (also known as Les Muppets), 1997.

The Martin Short Show, 1999.

Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, 1999.

Late Show with David Letterman (also known as The Late Show and Late Show Backstage), CBS, 2000.

The Howard Stern Radio Show, syndicated, 2001.

"Tim Allen," Revealed with Jules Asner, E! Entertainment Television, 2001.

Rove Live, Ten Network, 2002.

"Cousin Shelly," The Anna Nicole Show, E! Entertainment Television, 2002.

"Courting Disaster/Judge Anna," The Anna Nicole Show, E! Entertainment Television, 2003.

Inside the Actors Studio, Bravo, 2003.

Judge, Pet Star, Animal Planet, 2003.

The Oprah Winfrey Show (also known as Oprah), syndicated, 2004.

"Leno Bike: Parts 1 & 2," American Chopper: The Series, The Discovery Channel, 2004.

Larry King Live, Cable News Network, 2004.

Live with Regis and Kelly, syndicated, 2004, 2005.

Car Cruzin', 2005.

The View, ABC, 2005.

"Robots," HBO First Look, HBO, 2005.

Dr. Phil, syndicated, 2005.

Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, Bravo, 2005.

Martha, syndicated, 2005.

Today (also known as NBC News Today and The Today Show), NBC, 2005.

Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show, syndicated, 2005, 2006.

Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees, Cable News Network, 2006.

Guest host, Ebert & Roeper, (also known as Ebert & Roeper and the Movies), 2006.

Entertainment Tonight (also known as Entertainment This Week, E.T., ET Weekend, and This Week in Entertainment), syndicated, 2006.

Appeared in "1998," an episode of WCW Monday Nitro; also appeared in episodes of Friday Night Videos, NBC; The Merv Griffin Show, syndicated; Television Parts, NBC; and TV Bloopers and Practical Jokes, NBC.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

The 38th Annual Emmy Awards, 1986.

The 39th Annual Emmy Awards, 1987.

Host, The 42nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Presentation, 1990.

The 11th Annual ACE Awards, 1990.

Presenter, The Walt Disney Company Presents the American Teacher Awards, 1992.

Presenter, The 45th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, 1993.

Presenter, The 20th Annual People's Choice Awards, 1994.

The 29th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, 1994.

Presenter, The 46th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, 1994.

Presenter, The 47th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, 1995.

Presenter, The 30th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, 1995.

The 22nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, 1995.

Presenter, The 1996 Emmy Awards, 1996.

Presenter, The 31st Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, 1996.

The 1996 NCLR Bravo Awards, 1996.

Presenter, MTV Video Music Awards 1996 (also known as MTV 13th Annual Video Music Awards), MTV, 1996.

Presenter, The 28th NAACP Image Awards, 1997.

Presenter, The 49th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, 1997.

Presenter, The 32nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, 1997.

Presenter, The 29th NAACP Image Awards, 1998.

Presenter, The 50th Emmy Awards, 1998.

The 25th Daytime Emmy Awards, 1998.

Presenter, The 30th NAACP Image Awards, 1999.

Presenter, The 51st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, Fox, 1999.

The 5th Annual Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, 1999.

Presenter, The 31st NAACP Image Awards, 2000.

The 2000 MTV Movie Awards, MTV, 2000.

Presenter, The 2nd Annual TV Guide Awards, 2000.

The Stars Come Out: The GLAAD Awards, 2000.

VH1 Big in 2002 Awards, VH1, 2002.

The 32nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, CBS, 2005.

Television Work; Series:

Producer and writing supervisor for The Tonight Show (also known as The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson), NBC.

Television Producer; Specials:

Jay Leno and the American Dream, Showtime, 1986.

Roadside Attractions, 2002.

Film Appearances:

(Uncredited) Fun with Dick and Jane, Columbia, 1977.

Albert Fiore, Silver Bears (also known as Fool's Gold), Columbia, 1977.

Michael (Mookie), American Hot Wax, Paramount, 1978.

Larry Miller, Americathon, United Artists, 1979.

Doctor Duck's Super Secret All-Purpose Sauce, 1985.

Detective Tony Costas, Collision Course, De Laurentiis Entertainment Group/Interscope Communications, 1988.

Himself, Dave, Warner Bros., 1993.

Himself, Wayne's World 2, Paramount, 1993.

Voice of Vorb, We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (animated) Universal, 1993.

Himself, Major League II, Warner Bros., 1994.

Bedrock's most wanted host, The Flintstones, Universal, 1994.

(Uncredited) Himself, The Birdcage (also known as Birds of a Feather), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1996.

(Uncredited) Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's (documentary), Northern Arts Entertainment, 1996.

Himself, Meet Wally Sparks, Trimark Pictures, 1997.

Himself, Contact, Warner Bros., 1997.

Himself, In & Out, Paramount, 1997.

Himself, Mad City, Warner Bros., 1997.

Himself, Wag the Dog, New Line Cinema, 1997.

Himself, Edtv (also known as Ed TV), Universal, 1999.

Himself, The House of COC, 1999.

Himself, Space Cowboys, Warner Bros., 2000.

Himself, John Q, New Line Cinema, 2002.

Himself, Juwanna Mann, Warner Bros., 2002.

Himself, Comedian, Miramax, 2002.

Himself, Calendar Girls, Buena Vista, 2003.

Himself, Stuck on You, Twentieth Century-Fox, 2003.

Himself, Mr. 3000, Buena Vista, 2004.

Himself, First Daughter, Twentieth Century-Fox, 2004.

Voice of fire hydrant, Robots (animated), Twentieth Century-Fox, 2005.

A/k/a Tommy Chong (documentary), Blue Chief Entertainment, 2005.

Voice of Flamethrower, Tales of the Rat Fink, Abramocama, 2006.

Himself, 50 Things to Do before I Die (documentary), Tom Kramer Productions, 2006.

Himself, The Astronaut Farmer, Warner Bros., 2006.

Voice of Fast Tony, Ice Age: The Meltdown (animated; also known as Ice Age 2), Twentieth Century-Fox, 2006.

Voice of Jay Limo, Cars (animated), Buena Vista, 2006.

Narrator, Christmas Is Here Again, Easy to Dream Entertainment/Asylum Hill Productions/Renegade Animation, 2007.

RECORDINGS

Videos:

Himself, Totally Bill Hicks (also known as Totally Bill Hicks Featuring "It's Just a Ride" & "Revelations"), 1994.

(In archive footage) Playboy: The Best of Pamela Anderson, 1995.

WCW/NWO Superstar Series: Diamond Dallas Page—Feel the Bang!, 1998.

Jackie Chan: My Story, 1998.

WCW Road Wild '98, 1998.

South Park Gift Pack 4 (Volumes 10-12), 1998.

(Uncredited) Edtv: Caught in the Camera's Eye (also known as Caught in the Camera's Eye), 1999.

(In archive footage) Christina Aguilera: Genie Gets Her Wish, 2000.

(In archive footage) Playboy: The Complete Anna Nicole Smith, 2000.

Wild Desk Ride (also known as Conan O'Brien's "Wild Desk Ride"), 2001.

Voice of Fast Tony, Ice Age 2: The Meltdown (video game), Twentieth Century-Fox/Vivendi Universal Games, 2006.

Appeared in the music videos "Summer's Comin'" by Clint Black, and "We Shall Be Free" by Garth Brooks.

WRITINGS

Television Series:

Head writer, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC, 1992— broadcast monthly on the Internet as Virtual Jay, 1999.

Television Specials:

(With Kevin Rooney) Jay Leno and the American Dream, Showtime, 1986.

The Jay Leno Show, NBC, 1986.

Jay Leno's Family Comedy Hour (also known as Family Comedy Hour), NBC, 1987.

Television Episodes:

"J. J. in Trouble," Good Times, CBS, 1974.

The Tonight Show (also known as The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson), NBC, between 1987 and 1992.

Other:

(Editor) Headlines: Real but Ridiculous Samplings from America's Newspapers, Warner Books, 1989.

(Editor) More Headlines: Real but Ridiculous Samplings from America's Newspapers, Warner Books, 1991.

(Editor) Headlines III: Not the Movie, Still the Book; Real but Ridiculous Samplings from America's Newspapers, Warner Books, 1991.

(Editor) Headlines IV: The Next Generation; More Out-of-This World Headlines from the Bestselling Series, Warner Books, 1992.

(Editor) Jay Leno's Headlines: Books I, II, III, Wings, 1992.

(Editor) Jay Leno's Police Blotter: Real-Life Crime Headlines from "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," Andrews & McMeel, 1994.

(With Bill Zehme) Leading With My Chin (autobiography), HarperCollins, 1996.

(With Dennis Homstrom and others) The Complete Idiot's Guide to Motorcycles, Alpha Books, 2001.

If Roast Beef Could Fly (juvenile), Simon & Schuster, 2004.

How to Be the Funniest Kid in the Whole Wide World (or Just in Your Class), 2005.

Contributor of introductions to books by other authors. Author of "Jay Leno's Garage," a column in Popular Mechanics, 1999.

OTHER SOURCES

Books:

Adler, Bill, The World of Jay Leno: His Humor and His Life, Carol Publishing, 1992.

Carter, Bill, The Late Shift: Letterman, Leno, and the Network Battle for the Night, Hyperion, 1994.

Contemporary Newsmakers 1987, Gale, 1988.

Leno, Jay, and Bill Zehme, Leading With My Chin, HarperCollins, 1996.

St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, St. James Press, 2000.

Walker, Jay, The Leno Wit: His Life and Humor, Morrow, 1997.

Periodicals:

AARP, September, 2003, pp. 24-28.

Electronic Media, December 20, 1999, p. 12.

Interview, September, 2006, p. 210.

Los Angeles Times, May 11, 2000, p. F1.

Parade, July 12, 1998, p. 18; November 12, 2006, p. 5.

People Weekly, December 24, 1990, pp. 56-59; August 23, 1993, pp. 46-49; October 14, 1996, p. 39; May 6, 2002, p. 64.

Rolling Stone, March 4, 2004, pp. 35-36.

TV Guide, April 13, 2002, pp. 16-20, 25; August 9, 2003, pp. 18-23; July 18, 2004, p. 23.

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Leno, Jay 1950-

LENO, Jay 1950-

Personal

Born James Douglas Muir Leno, April 28, 1950, in New Rochelle, NY; son of Angelo and Cathryn Leno; married Mavis Nicholson, November 30, 1980. Education: Emerson College, graduated, 1973. Hobbies and other interests: Antique motorcycles and automobiles.

Addresses

Home Los Angeles, CA. Office c/o NBC Enterprises, 3500 Olive Dr., 15th Fl., Burbank, CA 91510-7885.

Career

Television personality, actor, comedian, and writer. Rolls Royce auto mechanic and deliveryman; stand-up comedian at venues, including Carnegie Hall and Caesar's Palace; performed as opening act for Henry Mancini, Johnny Mathis, John Denver, James Brown, Tom Jones, and Perry Como; Good Times, CBS, writer, 1974; Jay Leno and the American Dream, Showtime, host and producer, 1986; Tonight Show, NBC, exclusive guest host, 1987-92, host, 1992. Appeared on television-show episodes, including Good Times, CBS, 1976; Laverne and Shirley, ABC, 1979; Alice, CBS, 1981; Saturday Night Live, NBC, 1986; The Larry Sanders Show, 1993; Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, NBC, 1995; Mad about You, NBC, 1995; Friends, NBC, 1995; Homicide: Life on the Street, NBC, 1996; Seinfeld, NBC, 1996; Third Rock from the Sun, NBC, 1996; Bay-watch, syndicated, 1997; The Simpsons, Fox, 1998; Home Improvement, ABC, 1999; The West Wing, NBC, 2000; Titus, Fox, 2001; The Fairly Oddparents, Nickelodeon, 2001; Just Shoot Me, 2002; and Scrubs, NBC, 2003. Other television appearances include Jay Leno's Family Comedy Hour, 1987; The 42nd Annual Prime-time Emmy Awards, 1990; Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child, 1995; and Fifty Years of NBC Late Night, NBC, 2001. Appeared in films, including The Silver Bears, EMI Films, 1977; Fun with Dick and Jane, Columbia, 1977; American Hot Wax, Paramount, 1978; Americathon, Lorimar/Warner Bros., 1979; Collision Course, De Laurentiis Entertainment/Interscope Communications, 1988; Dave, Warner Bros., 1993; Wayne's World 2, Paramount, 1993; We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story, Amblin, 1993; The Flintstones, Universal/Hanna-Barbera/Amblin, 1994; Major League II, Warner Bros., 1994; The Birdcage, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists, 1996; Meet Wally Sparks, Trimark, 1997; Contact, Warner Bros., 1997; In and Out, Paramount, 1997; Mad City, Warner Bros., 1997; EDtv, Universal, 1999; Space Cowboys, Warner Bros., 2000; John Q, New Line Cinema, 2002; Calendar Girls, Buena Vista, 2003; and Mr. 3000, Buena Vista, 2004.

Awards, Honors

Writers Guild of America award nomination, 1987; Emmy Award for Best Musical or Variety Series, 1995, and nominations, 1996 and 1997, and Award for Outstanding Technical Direction, 1996, all for Tonight Show; Best Political Humorist designation, Washingtonian magazine; Favorite Late Night Show designation, TV Guide Awards, 1999 and 2000, for Tonight Show; honored with star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Writings

(Editor) Headlines: Real but Ridiculous Samplings from America's Newspapers (also see below), photographs by Gary Bernstein, cartoons by Jack Davis, Warner (New York, NY), 1989.

(Editor) More Headlines: Real but Ridiculous Samplings from America's Newspapers (also see below), photographs by Joseph Del Valle, cartoons by Jack Davis, Warner (New York, NY), 1991.

(Editor) Headlines III: Not the Movie, Still the Book: Real but Ridiculous Samplings from America's Newspapers (also see below), photographs by Joseph Del Valle, cartoons by Jack Davis, Warner (New York, NY), 1991.

(Editor) Headlines IV: The Next Generation: More Out-of-This World Headlines from the Bestselling Series, photographs by Joseph Del Valle, cartoons by Jack Davis, Warner (New York, NY), 1992.

(Editor) Jay Leno's Headlines. Books I, II, III, Wings (New York, NY), 1992.

(Editor) Jay Leno's Police Blotter: Real-Life Crime Headlines from "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," Andrews & McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 1994.

(With Bill Zehme) Leading with My Chin, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.

(Author of introduction) Jon Macks, Heaven Talks Back: An Uncommon Conversation, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1998.

(Author of introduction) Frederick Voss, editor, Faces of Time: Seventy-five Years of Time Magazine Cover Portraits, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1998.

(With Dennis Homstrom and others) The Complete Idiot's Guide to Motorcycles, Alpha Books (Indianapolis, IN), 2001.

(Author of introduction) Dennis Adler, The Art of the Sports Car: The Greatest Designs of the Twentieth Century, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.

If Roast Beef Could Fly (for children), illustrated by S. B. Whitehead, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2004.

Sidelights

Late-night television host Jay Leno began his show-business career as a standup comedian. Performing his comedy routines around the country, making as many as 300 appearances a year, Leno eventually procured a spot as guest host of the popular late-night program the Tonight Show, which starred Johnny Carson. With Carson's retirement from the show, Leno stepped in as his successor, beating out other contenders, including David Letterman. Soon dubbed the "King of Late Night" by the media, Leno's Tonight Show began top-ping late-night television ratings in 1995 and became a dominant force by the late 1990s.

The son of an Italian-American father and a Scottish mother who immigrated to the United States alone at the age of eleven, Leno has apparently always had a heart for comedy. His fifth-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." Leno first considered a career in comedy after winning a talent show during his senior year of high school. While a student at Emerson University in Boston, Massachusetts, Leno traveled several hours south to New York City to perform at comedy clubs. He moved to California in 1974 and made his first appearance on the Tonight Show in 1977. Years of hard work on the comedy-club circuit followed, and during the 1980s Leno often served as guest host of the popular show. When the time came, Leno was a natural choice to succeed Carson, and at Carson's retirement in 1992 he became the Tonight Show 's permanent host.

Leno's 1996 autobiography, Leading with My Chin, details his rise to fame from small comedy clubs to his late-night television success. Leno's autobiography does not break from his comedic tendencies; he lightheartedly shares anecdotes of his rise to fame, including early gigs in mental institutions. One memorable appearance Leno describes in his book is performing before a group of Orthodox Jews only to find that the audience was really expecting to be entertained by a Yiddish storyteller. Entertainment Weekly contributor Bret Watson described the book as "amiable" and "mildly amusing."

In 2004 Leno published the children's picture book If Roast Beef Could Fly, which features illustrations by S. B. Whitehead. A humorous tale based on an incident from Leno's childhood, If Roast Beef Could Fly describes a disastrous family barbecue. Leno told People contributor Shannon Maughan that the story is a favorite of his. "I do a lot of charity events and fundraisers where you have everyone from kids to grandmas in the audience," Leno remarked. "Whenever I've told this story, kids seemed to think it was hilarious."

The book opens as Leno's father prepares for his latest home-improvement project: a new backyard patio and rotisserie. Young Jay tags along during the construction process, and when the rotisserie is unveiled at a big party, Jay's curiosity gets the best of him. As a roast turns on the spit, Jay scoops up the drippings with his pocket comb, which eventually gets stuck in the meat and begins to melt. As Leno recalled on MSNBC Online, "When my dad brought the roast beef out, he started to cut it and thenclunk! A big piece of plastic fell off and the meat was pink underneath." Leno's father was so angry he threw the roast outside, where the family dog quickly gobbled it up.

If Roast Beef Could Fly received mixed reviews. Some critics believed that the book's tone is loud and exaggerated; School Library Journal contributor Martha Topol wrote that the work seems "mired in excess," while a Kirkus Reviews contributor observed that Leno's tale "is told at the top of the authorial lungs, with no modulation in tone whatsoever." A Publishers Weekly reviewer offered praise for the work, however, stating that the comedian's "talent for storytelling and affection for his family shines through."

In 2002 Leno celebrated his tenth anniversary as host of the Tonight Show, and maintained that he had no intention of stopping. As he told Stephen Battaglio of the Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, "I'll do it as long as they want me to do it." His rare absences from the show were precipitated by serious illness; otherwise, he continued to appear at his interviewer's desk five nights each week. While Leno retained a staff to help him prepare monologues and other well-known bits, he also contributed mightily to the writing of each episode, often completing the next night's monologue after finishing a show. As Leno once told a People contributor, "When I was a kid growing up I had dyslexia. My mother told me that I would always have to work twice as hard as the other kids just to get the same grades. It's the same now. I'm not better than anybody else doing this job; I just think maybe I work harder than some."

Biographical and Critical Sources

BOOKS

Adler, Bill, The World of Jay Leno: His Humor and His Life, Carol Publishing (New York, NY), 1992.

Carter, Bill, The Late Shift: Letterman, Leno, and the Network Battle for the Night, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1994.

Contemporary Newsmakers, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1989.

Leno, Jay, and Bill Zehme, Leading with My Chin, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.

Leno, Jay, editor, Headlines: Real but Ridiculous Samplings from America's Newspapers, Warner (New York, NY), 1989.

St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2000.

Walker, Jay, The Leno Wit: His Life and Humor, Morrow (New York, NY), 1997.

PERIODICALS

Advertising Age, May 25, 1992, p. 24; November 30, 1993, pp. 1-3.

Booklist, January 1, 1990, p. 870.

Boston, May, 1992, pp. 16-21.

Cosmopolitan, December, 1993, pp. 70-72; May, 1996, pp. 180-185.

Entertainment Weekly, August 14, 1992, pp. 20-27; February 11, 1994, p. 63; April 22, 1994, p. 12; November 3, 1995, p. 19; March 15, 1996, p. 52; October 11, 1996, pp. 84-85; November 8, 1996, p. 11.

Esquire, October, 1995, pp. 98-105.

Hollywood Reporter, May 2, 2002, Barry Garron, "Leno: Tenth Anniversary," p. 10.

Insight on the News, July 22, 1991, pp. 42-44.

Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2004, review of If Roast Beef Could Fly, p. 273.

Kliatt, January, 1991, p. 55.

Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, April 17, 2002, Stephen Battaglio, "Tireless Comic Jay Leno to Mark Ten Years as Tonight Host," p. K7195.

Ladies' Home Journal, February, 1997, p. 166.

Life, November, 1993, p. 100.

Newsweek, June 29, 1992, p. 56; January 25, 1993, pp. 60-63.

New Yorker, November 9, 1992, pp. 46-65.

New York Times, January 30, 1994, p. 28; September 24, 2000, Marshall Sella, "The Stiff Guy vs. the Dumb Guy," p. 72.

New York Times Book Review, November 17, 1996, p. 24.

O, February, 2003, "Oprah Talks to Jay Leno," pp. 138-144.

People, December 24, 1990, pp. 56-59; August 23, 1993, pp. 46-49; October 14, 1996, p. 39; May 6, 2002, Michael A. Lipton and Pamela Warrick, "Funny Man at Work," p. 64; April 19, 2004, "Jay Leno," p. 24.

Playboy, December, 1990, pp. 57-69; October, 1996, pp. 51-60.

Publishers Weekly, January 15, 1996, p. 320; March 8, 2004, review of If Roast Beef Could Fly, p. 72, and Shannon Maughan, "Where's the Beef?," p. 73.

Redbook, July, 1992, pp. 48-51.

School Library Journal, June, 2004, Martha Topol, review of If Roast Beef Could Fly, pp. 112-113.

Time, March 16, 1992, pp. 58-62.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), January 14, 1990, p. 4.

TV Guide, April 11, 1992, pp. 16-21; August 15, 1992, p. 27; January 30, 1993, pp. 49-51; August 28, 1993, pp. 18-23; October 22, 1994, pp. 28-33; October 5, 1996, pp. 14-22; April 13, 2002, Jason Gay, "The Hardest-working, Least Talked about, Most Popular Man in Show Business," p. 16.

Vanity Fair, July, 1991, pp. 48-50.

Variety, May 29, 2000, Peter Bart, "Building the Leno Legend," p. 2.

Washingtonian, November, 1993, pp. 76-80.

Woman's Day, March 10, 1992, pp. 36-40.

ONLINE

E! Online, http://www.eonline.com/ (September 20, 2004), "Jay Leno."

MSNBC Online, http://msnbc.msn.com/ (March 22, 2004), "Jay Leno Publishes Storybook."

NBC Web site, http://www.nbc.com/ (September 20, 2004), "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."*

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