You might know Jay Leno as the host of the late night talk show on NBC, and his career is filled with a lot more stops than you might imagine. He has achieved legendary success in the world of comedy by getting the title of host of the tonight show, and his success was not always inevitable. He recently retired from NBC and stepped down as the host by handing the reigns of the show over to Jimmy Fallon. There have been a lot of highs and lows in his career, and the one thing that you can count on is that Leno always pushes through and achieves success.
Jay always knew that he wanted to pursue a career in comedy. Being on the stage and making people laugh is something that Leno was born to do. He was always looking for stages that he could perform of and was never afraid of a crowd. Early on, he was known as a comedian that would tour just about anywhere. He was known for having a routine that was relatively clean and based on a lot of observational humor. When he was at the height of his standup career, Leno was booking over 300 shows a year.
The Tonight Show
The Tonight Show was Johnny Carson’s and Leno had the honor of performing on the stage numerous times. When it was finally announced that Carson was going to retire, Leno was one of the front runners as host of the show. It was between Leno and Letterman, and many were partial to Leno due to the fact that his humor was a lot more clean cut and Letterman was viewed as the more controversial choice. Letterman already had his own show that followed Carson’s so many thought he was the no brainer choice, and NBC took a chance by hiring Leno instead.
Success and Controversy
Leno had a slow start as host of the tonight show, and he quickly gained viewers. He had long term success, and in 2003 it was announced that he would be retiring by 2010. Conan O'Brien was supposed to be the one to take over the Tonight Show, and this is not exactly what happened. Leno tried having his own show in prime time at 10:00, and failed to capture viewers and returned to his original time slot kicking Conan as the successor. This caused a lot of friction that Leno has had a hard time overcoming.
Jay remained with the Tonight Show from 2010 – 2014 until he handed over the reins to Jimmy Fallon.
Leno, how has consistently booked 20+ stand-up dates per year, even during the height of his Tonight Show fame, will be bringing his polished stand-up act to the Fallsview Casino on April 21st & 22nd, 2016.
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