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Jay Leno
David and Jay Leno.jpg
Leno in April 2016
Birth name James Douglas Muir Leno
Born April 28, 1950 (1950-04-28) (age 71)
New Rochelle, New York, U.S.
Medium Television, film, Stand up
Nationality American
Education Andover High School
Alma mater Emerson College
Bentley University
Years active 1973–present
Influences Johnny Carson, Robert Klein, Alan King, George Carlin, Don Rickles, Bob Newhart, Rodney Dangerfield
Influenced Dennis Miller
Spouse Mavis Leno (1980–present)
Notable works and roles The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (host, 1992–2009, 2010–2014)
The Jay Leno Show
(host, 2009–2010)
Signature Jay Leno Autograph.svg
Emmy Awards
Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series
1995 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

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

Early life

Leno was born James Douglas Muir Leno in New Rochelle, New York on April 28, 1950. His homemaker mother Catherine (née Muir; 1911–1993) was born in Greenock, Scotland and came to the United States at the age of 11. Leno's father, Angelo (1910–1994), who worked as an insurance salesman, was born in New York, to immigrants from Flumeri, Italy. 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 and a lawyer.


The Tonight Show

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

He now stars in his own prime-time comedy show The Jay Leno Show, which debuted on September 14, 2009.


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

Obama and Leno
Leno with President Barack Obama in March 2009

Since 1980, Leno has been married to Mavis Leno; they have no children by mutual agreement. Leno is dyslexic.

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