JAY LENO AT THE McCALLUM JANUARY 21
Through the generosity of Ron and Shelly Tamkin and Ronald and Sylvia Gregoire, the McCallum Theatre welcomes the return of Jay Leno for two performances on Saturday, January 21, at 3:00pm and 8:00pm.
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 has always been widely characterized as “the hardest working man in show business.”
Jay’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. After resuming hosting the program following a one-time brief interruption of these duties, Jay again took the show to the top, leading all of the ensuing quarters handily for another three years. Under his helm, the show was honored by the Television Academy with an Emmy for “Outstanding Comedy, Variety or Music Series.” “The Tonight Show” has also taken home the trophy for “Favorite Late Night Show” in the annual TV Guide Awards determined by voting viewers, and Jay was installed in the Television Academy’s Broadcast Hall of Fame.
Jay has also succeeded in the newest entertainment arena. “Jay Leno’s Garage” – at Jaylenosgarage.com – has 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. Jay produces the NBC creation with Robert Angelo.
Jay is the recipient of the People’s Choice Award and other honors, including the Harris Poll selection as most popular star on television. Other highlights include the Hasty Pudding Award at Harvard, an honor whose sole prior comedy/talk host recipient was Johnny Carson; receiving a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, and being the first person to drive the pace car of all major NASCAR events.
Having passed the torch of “The Tonight Show” to Jimmy Fallon, Jay is only getting busier. He has increased his customary busy schedule of comedy performances in venues around the U.S. and occasionally abroad; he continues his web venture relating to his passion for automobiles, and is in consideration of the many other applications of his time and talents which have been offered or which he is personally evolving.
It was in May of 1992 when Jay followed in the footsteps of legendary NBC late-night hosts Steve Allen, Jack Paar and Johnny Carson as “The Tonight Show” host. Pitted against David Letterman in the 11:35 PM hour, Jay became the late night ratings leader within two years, establishing firm leadership in all demographic categories, a winning streak exceeding 50 consecutive quarters.
Prior to becoming host, Jay was the exclusive guest host on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” since September 1987. He first appeared as a guest on the show in 1977, and he made numerous appearances on the show, as well as NBC’s former program “Late Night with David Letterman.”
An indefatigable performer, Jay loves to test his humor live on audiences across the nation, performing over 100 live appearances in nightclubs, theaters and stadiums each year. He has been touted as one of the nicest people in show business and the hardest-working — a winning tandem for the man who says “Anyone can have a life – careers are hard to come by!”
His “everyman”-style and personality have earned him millions of fans worldwide, especially in the regions where people relate to his personable style and work ethic. In addition to traversing the U.S., he has entertained in various countries, including Bosnia, where he performed for military troops associated with the war in Afghanistan, and Aviano, Italy, where he performed for troops associated with the Bosnian peacekeeping efforts. He remains passionate about performing in front of live audiences, including the military, and appears regularly in Las Vegas, on college campuses around the United States and in other venues.
Moreover, he is committed to using his amalgam of talents to help those less fortunate. Each year, he serves as Master of Ceremonies and does numerous benefit performances, including shows for those whose lives were devastated by the 9/11 tragedy, the tsunami in Thailand, hurricanes in the Gulf, and the severe economic downturn in Detroit. He leads the annual Love Ride in California to benefit humanitarian organizations serving people with autism, muscular dystrophy, and Special Olympics, among many others.
He also served as honorary campaign chairman for several years for the Entertainment Industry Foundation, Hollywood’s charitable arm, and he has assisted the Gender Apartheid campaign led by wife Mavis together with the Feminist Majority, to free Afghan women of Taliban tyranny, an effort for which Mavis and The Feminist Majority were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Jay’s children’s book If Roast Beef Could Fly hit bookstores in 2004 and immediately was a New York Times Bestseller. His follow-up kids book How to be the Funniest Kid In Your Class was similarly successful. His other book, Leading with My Chin, hit the bookstores in 1998. He also has published four versions of “Headlines,” the compilation of books and desk calendars featuring his favorite funny newspaper headlines, and “Police Blotter,” a book with humorous newspaper clips involving police stories (book proceeds go to various charities).
When he is not performing, writing, doing charitable work, Jay keeps busy doing voice-over work in such movies as Cars and Igor and the hit-TV show “The Fairly Oddparents” (Nickelodeon), where the character “The Crimson Chin” – a superhero with a chin with superpowers – was inspired by Leno’s own noted jawline. He also is a much-in-demand corporate speaker for companies including General Motors, and he is a monthly columnist in “Popular Mechanics.” And in his “spare” time (as if he has any), he enjoys working on his collection of classic cars and motorcycles. In fact, he has built a number of cars, including an acclaimed eco-car in his eco-friendly green garage.
Jay was born in New Rochelle, New York, and raised in Andover, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Mavis, live in Los Angeles.
The McCallum Theatre presents Jay Leno for two performances on Saturday, January 21, at 3:00pm and 8:00pm.
Ticket prices for these performances are $107, $97, $77 and $67. Tickets are available at the Theatre’s website at www.mccallumtheatre.com or by calling the McCallum Theatre Box Office at (760) 340-ARTS. The McCallum Theatre, located at 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert CA 92260, accepts payment by cash, personal check, VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.