James Douglas Muir “Jay” Leno was born April 28, 1950 in New Rochelle, New York and grew up in Andover, Massachusetts. He earned a degree in speech therapy from Emerson College where he started a comedy club. In 1977, Leno was invited to the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Leno became the host of The Tonight Show by taking over for Carson in 1992. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno ran until 2009, for a total of 17 years.
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. In March of 2010, Leno reclaimed The Tonight show back to his own.
Leno continues to stick to his roots; he performs as a stand-up comedian despite his television-hosting career.
- Were you at the Mabee Center Arena in Tulsa when Jay Leno was performing live? If so, we want to hear about it!
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- Do you have photos or memorabilia of Jay Leno or the concert? Consider donating them to the Mabee Center Museum here.