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James Douglas Muir Leno is a television host, comedian, writer, and actor from the United States. After years of stand-up comedy, he was named host of NBC’s The Tonight Show from 1992 until 2009, when Conan O’Brien took over.
Beginning in September 2009, Leno launched The Jay Leno Show, a primetime talk show that aired on weeknights at 10:00 p.m. ET on NBC.
When O’Brien declined NBC’s offer to have Leno host a half-hour monologue show before The Tonight Show to boost ratings amid reports of declining viewership, Leno returned to host the show on March 1, 2010.
On February 6, 2014, he hosted the final episode of his second tenure. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame that same year.
He hosted Jay Leno’s Garage from 2014 to 2022 and the revival of You Bet Your Life in 2021.
What is Jay Leno’s Net Worth and Salary?
Jay Leno has a net worth of $450 million as an American comedian, actor, writer, producer, and former late-night television host.
After years of stand-up comedy, he became the host of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on NBC from 1992 to 2009. Jay earned $320 million in salary before taxes as host of The Tonight Show.
Jay famously still performs dozens of standup shows throughout the year and reportedly only ever lived off this money while banking his NBC salary checks.
Jay has an extremely valuable car collection. His 300-plus vehicle stable is worth at least $100 million.
Jay Leno made his first appearance as a featured comedian on “The Tonight Show” on March 2, 1977. Throughout the 1970s, Leno played minor roles in films and television shows such as “Good Times,” “Fun With Dick and Jane,” “Laverne & Shirley,” “Alice,” “One Day at a Time,” and “American Hot Wax.” He also appeared as the featured comedian on “Late Night with David Letterman” several times.
Beginning in 1986, Leno served as a regular substitute host on “The Tonight Show” for Johnny Carson. In 1992, he took over as host of “The Tonight Show” in the midst of a feud with David Letterman, who had been hosting “Late Night with David Letterman” since 1982. Many people, including Carson, predicted that Letterman would take over as host of “The Tonight Show.” The drama surrounding this transition was made into a book and a film.
During his tenure on “The Tonight Show,” Leno continued to perform as a stand-up comedian. Leno signed a contract extension with NBC in 2004 that would keep him on “The Tonight Show” until 2009.
Personal Life and Relationship Status
Jay Leno has been married to Mavis Leno since 1980. The couple does not have any children.
Mavis is a prominent feminist in California, the United States, and around the world. Mavis Leno, in contrast to her husband, keeps a low profile, preferring to work behind the scenes of the non-profit, politically charged organizations she supports and runs.
Since 1997, Leno has served as the chair of the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Campaign to End Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan.
Mavis and Jay donated $100,000 to the organization in 1999 in order to advance the cause of educating the public about the plight of Afghan women under the Taliban.
Leno’s mother died in 1993 at the age of 82, and his father died the following year at the age of 84. Patrick Leno, Leno’s older brother, died of cancer in 2002 at the age of 62.
Leno is dyslexic and has a prominent jaw, a condition known as mandibular prognathism.
Leno does not consume alcohol, smoke, or gamble.