James Douglas Muir Leno was born on April 28th 1950 in New Rochelle Ne
"Has been a lifesaver so many times!"
- Catherine Rampell, student @ University of Washington
"Exactly the help I needed."
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"The best place for brainstorming ideas."
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James Douglas Muir Leno was born on April 28th, 1950 in New Rochelle, New York and
grew up in Andover Massachusetts. Jay graduated from Andover High School in 1968 and from
Emerson College in 1973. On November 30th 1980 Jay Leno got married to who is now Mavis
Nicholson Leno, they are still happily married. He first met her while performing in a comedy
club in Los Angeles. Mavis was in the audience and laughed at all his jokes at the right time.
They have often been called total opposites but Jay says that they are very much in love. Jays
favorite hobby is restoring and collecting classic cars and bikes, he now has over 35.
Jay Leno began his career in nightclubs, where he worked over three hundred nights a
year before hitting it big in 1992 with his own late night talk show. He was first called "Jay" in
grade school and was called "Jamie" by his family. Jay Leno often mentions that he's Italian but
he's actually half-Italian (his father), and half-Scotch (his mother). He did an on-air tribute when
his mom died and a year later he did the same for his dad. He has a brother named Patrick who
is ten years older than him.
The first club gig that Jay had was in a Boston strip joint where the audience through
cigarettes at him because they wanted to see a stripper instead of a comedian. Jay took this with
stride and went on with his career. Jay Leno first appeared on The Tonight Show March 2nd
1977 as a guest. At that time the show was hosted by Johnny Carson. In September 1987 Jay
Leno appeared as a guest host for the first time. During the mid 1980's Jay became a regular
guest host on many talk shows. Jay Leno took over the tonight show for Johnny Carson on May
25th, 1992. Jays first guest then was Billy Crystal. Jays first manager , Helen Kushnick, was
responsible for transferring Jay from club performances to the Tonight Show. She was made an
executive producer of the Tonight Show when Jay took over but was fired 4 months later because
she demanded that guests didn't appear on other talk shows. Her attorney had this to say about
the situation: "She was hurt by it, and she didn't ever stop being hurt by it, including Leno's
treatment of her." She died on August 29th from cancer.
Jay is happy to polish his antique cars , stay married, and wear bad suits. Leno still
appears at the comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, California regularly to try out new
things and look for new talents. The address of the club is The Comedy and Magic Club, 1018
Hermosa Ave., (310)-372-1193.
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Jay Leno, Television in the United States, Series, Television, Leno, The Tonight Show, Helen Kushnick, Late-night talk show, Johnny Carson, The Late Shift, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
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