Acclaimed TV late night show host, admired stand-up comedian, best-selling children’s book author, much-in-demand corporate speaker, lovable TV and movie voice-over artist, pioneering car builder and mechanic, and philanthropist….it’s no wonder that Jay Leno is widely characterized as “the hardest working man in show business.”
Jay Leno’s late night television ratings domination included more than two decades of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” winning every consecutive quarter of his hosting over the past 19 years. After resuming hosting the 11:35PM program, following its one-time interruption, he made it once again the consistent and uninterrupted ratings leader for late night. Throughout the process, he has been honored by the Television Academy with an Emmy for “Outstanding Comedy, Variety or Music Series.” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” has also taken home the trophy for “Favorite Late Night Show” in the annual TV Guide Awards determined by voting viewers, and he was recently installed in the Television Academy's Broadcast Hall of Fame.
As if night-time dominance were not enough, Leno has also succeeded in the newest entertainment arena: “Jay Leno’s Garage,” of which he is a producer as well as star. The NBC creation, which is viewed on CNBC, gained an international following on the web, not to mention an Emmy Award and two additional nominations for Outstanding Special Class–Short-Format Nonfiction Programs.
Leno himself is the recipient of the People’s Choice Award and other honors, including the Harris Poll selection as most popular star on television. Other personal highlights include his induction into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Broadcasting Hall of Fame, his 2014 reception of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, the Hasty Pudding Award at Harvard University, an honor whose sole prior comedy/talk host recipient was Johnny Carson, and an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Emerson College. Like Mr. Carson, Groucho Marx, and an elite group of entertainment figures, he has been invited to have his papers installed in the Library of Congress. He also received a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame (asking that it be placed in front of the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum, the site of his arrest for vagrancy when he first arrived in Hollywood). He also has set several land speed records and became the first person to drive the pace car of all major NASCAR events.
Having passed the torch of Tonight Show succession to Jimmy Fallon, Jay Leno has continued his web venture relating to his passion for automobiles, and has increased his customary busy schedule of comedy performances in top venues around the United States and abroad, among many other pursuits.
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