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Jay Leno is the late-night talk show host of The Tonight Show. Fallon announced plans to exit the long-running series in April 2013.
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Born in 1950, Jay Leno is an American late-night talk show host and stand-up comedian. He hosted The Tonight Show with Jay Leno from 1992 to 2009, then hosted his own show, The Jay Leno Show, for one year due to a host controversy, before returning to The Tonight Show in 2010. Leno is known for his clean, America-friendly act and his characteristically protruding chin. He has won an Emmy Award. In April 2013,
"Politics is just show business for ugly people."
Leno announced plans to exit The Tonight Show. Jimmy Fallon will be the show's new host, beginning after Leno's contract ends in 2014.
Famed comedian and television host Jay Leno was born James Douglas Muir Leno on April 28, 1950, in New Rochelle, New York, to father Angelo Leno, an insurance salesman, and mother Cathryn Leno, a homemaker. He later moved to Andover, Massachusetts, where he spent the duration of his childhood and young-adult life.
As a student in grade school, Leno displayed his comic tendencies with pranks and practical jokes. His fifth-grade teacher's report card comments—"if Jay spent as much time studying as he does trying to be a comedian, he'd be a big star"—turned out to be prophetic.
He is best known for being one of the busiest performers in comedy; for years he booked over 300 appearances annually. He's also famous for his clean, observational brand of humor and a cartoon-like facial features, which he made reference to in the title of his 1996 autobiography, Leading With My Chin.
Leno attended Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech therapy. While in school, Leno performed stand-up comedy in local night clubs, and emceed talent shows for extra money. He moved to Los Angeles after graduation, and wrote for the TV show Good Times; a job that fellow late-nighter David Letterman also had. In addition he worked as the warm-up act for Johnny Mathis and Tom Jones.
Leno made his first appearance on The Tonight Show in 1977, and was a regular on the variety show The Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. Show. In the mid-1980s, Leno hosted his first comedy special on TV: Jay Leno and the American Dream. Around this same period, he made numerous successful appearances on late-night TV, particularly Late Night with David Letterman. Later that year, he signed a deal with NBC that made him one of two permanent guest hosts of The Tonight Show. He became the only guest host two years later.
In 1992, Johnny Carson surprised many by retiring from his long-standing role as America's beloved and premier talk show host. There had been speculation that David Letterman, whose Late Night show followed Carson's, would take over hosting duties, a position he had publicly coveted.
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