Archive for the ‘Jay Leno’ Category

Leno to Speak at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Right in the middle of one of the most contentious periods in his long career, Jay Leno was announced Friday as the choice to be the keynote speaker for the White House Correspondents’ dinner in May.

But he was not picked to bring an extra dollop of hype to the event, said Edwin Chen, the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, which runs the dinner.

“Jay agreed several months before this whole flap started,” said Mr. Chen, the senior White House correspondent for Bloomberg News. He was referring to the recent upheaval in NBC’s late-night lineup, which has resulted in the departure of Conan O’Brien from NBC and Mr. Leno’s impending return as host of “The Tonight Show.”

Mr. Chen said he had personally reached out to Mr. Leno and “he was very enthused to do it.” He noted that Mr. Leno is “an old friend of the dinner,” having served as the speaker on three previous occasions. The selection of a speaker for the dinner is solely up to the president of the association, Mr. Chen said. “There is no vote or anything like that,” he said. He added, “I know the Obamas like him very much, too,” noting that both the President and Michelle Obama have been guests on Mr. Leno’s show.

Ethan Bortnick Makes His 2nd Appearance on the Tonight Show

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

Ethan Bortnick appears with Jay Leno to promote his newly released DVD and CD - “Live in Concert By Me Ethan Bortnick.”

Young Musician, Pianist, Composer Ethan Bortnick will be on a promotional tour, promoting the in-store release of his first ever live DVD titled “Live in Concert - ‘By Me’ - Ethan Bortnick.” Ethan is making history as the youngest entertainer, composer and musician to record a DVD with his own live concert for worldwide distribution.

The first stop is the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on March 10, 2008. Ethan will be chatting with Jay Leno and then performing some of his pieces from the DVD.

Ethan Bortnick has performed solo concerts and has also performed for live audiences of over 20,000 people on many occasions. Ethan has wowed audiences with his skills and personality and has played to the astonishment of Patti LaBelle, Jay Leno, Cameron Diaz, Diane Sawyer, Nelly Furtado, Jason Alexander, Rush Limbaugh, Pamela Anderson, Martha Stewart, John Voight, and many more musicians and celebrities.

“Ethan has the makings of a virtuoso; he has perfect pitch, plays over 200 songs from memory, and exhibits extreme improvisational skills,” says producer and Managing Partner of Savor Records, Lily Saborit.

Jay Leno serves up his most competitive Wimbledon week in 4 years

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” has overcome late start times to finish within 6,000 adult 18-49 viewers of first place for the week of July 2-6, marking the most competitive finish for “Tonight” in four years during its week of telecasts delayed by Wimbledon tennis coverage.

This is the third year in a row that “Tonight” has reduced the winning margin for CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman” versus the previous year’s Wimbledon week. In 2004, Letterman took the week by a 31 percent margin in 18-49 viewers, in 2005, the margin was 11 percent, in 2006 it was 9 percent and this year the “Late Show” margin has shrunk to a mere 0.4 percent. In total viewers, Jay also delivered his most competitive Wimbledon week in four years and has sliced the “Late Show” margin the last three years in a row.

“Late Night with Conan O’Brien” delivered another big Wimbledon week this year, winning the 12:35 a.m. ET hour with encore telecasts delayed by tennis against original, on-time competition from CBS’ “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” (which was in encore on Wednesday, July 4, with that telecast not counted in weeklong averages). Conan stretched his lead versus last year’s Wimbledon week, prevailing among 18-49 viewers by a 33 percent margin last week versus a 24 percent advantage for the same week last year. Conan has now won 612 weeks in a row in 18-49, in a streak that dates back to the week of July 10-14, 1995.

Jay Leno is Serious About Biodiesel

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Jay Leno has been keeping auto engineers up late at night, but not just with his monologues. The Tonight Show host and auto expert has designed a car last year to run on 100% biodiesel and recently met with National Biodiesel Board CEO Joe Jobe to show it off.

At the heart of the EcoJet concept car is a 650 horsepower turbine engine, which sits inside a modified Corvette frame. Jay also uses biodiesel in one of his motorcycles and in his New Holland tractor that he uses to move this famous car collection.

The primary goal of the EcoJet was to design and build a car that ran on environmentally friendly fuel that didn’t run like a Prius.

NBC tries to hold on to Jay leno

Saturday, July 21st, 2007

The decision to have Conan O’Brien take over “The Tonight Show” in 2009 has U.S. TV network NBC wondering what to do with Jay Leno when he leaves the show.

The network’s new co-chairmen Ben Silverman and Marc Graboff not only have to completely change the network’s prime-time lineup, they also said they want to keep Leno away from Fox or ABC, Variety.com reported Saturday.

“We want him to stay at NBC for life,” Silverman told journalists at the Television Critics Association press tour. “And Marc and I are aggressively trying to come up with ideas that would make Jay happy.”

“The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” brought in around $250 million in advertising sales in 2006, an estimated 15 percent of NBC’s advertising profits.

Leno, 59, said he still loves doing the show and would have kept going if NBC had not asked him step aside to make room for O’Brien.

JAY LENO STILL HAS FUTURE WITH NBC EVEN AFTER HE LEAVES ‘THE TONIGHT SHOW’

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

THE SKINNY: While Jay Leno may be relinquishing his throne of THE TONIGHT SHOW In 2009 to Conan O’Brien, NBC would love to keep Jay Leno on the air in some capacity with the network, according to Ben Silverman, Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios.

“We love Jay Leno, and we’re very interested, beyond interested, in having Jay stay at NBC for life,” says Silverman. “We’re talking to Jay all the time about what does he want to do, and what opportunities are there for him. And [co-chairman] Marc Graboff and I are aggressively trying to come up with ideas that would make Jay happy.”

While THE TONIGHT SHOW would become O’Brien’s domain once Leno leaves, Graboff notes primetime would not be out of the question.

“Primetime is a definite alternative,” says Graboff.

Celebrities Help Starkey Hearing Foundation Raise $4.5 Million at Annual Gala

Monday, June 25th, 2007

With the help of dozens of well-known and highly respected celebrities, including Jim Belushi, Lou Ferrigno, Glenn Frey, Goldie Hawn, Jay Leno, Kenny Loggins, Marlee Matlin, Leslie Nielsen, Mickey Rooney, Kevin Sorbo, Robert Wagner, and many others, the Starkey Hearing Foundation raised a record $4.5 million at its annual “So the World May Hear” Awards Gala, which was held on Saturday, June 23 in St. Paul, Minn.

“For the seventh year in a row we had tremendous support from our friends all over the world who helped us raise an amazing $4.5 million to further our mission of promoting hearing health awareness and helping the world to hear,” said William F. Austin, founder of the Starkey Hearing Foundation. “I offer my heartfelt thanks to everyone who was a part of this year’s Gala and who, through their generosity of time and money, helped make the world a better place for so many children.”

The Starkey Hearing Foundation is known for donating hearing aids to underprivileged children both here in the United States and in countries all over the globe. Thanks to funds raised during this annual event, the Foundation has been able to donate an estimated 200,000 hearing aids in the past seven years alone in an effort to give the gift of hearing to those in need.

This year’s star-studded Gala included performances by Jim Belushi and the Sacred Heart Band, Jay Leno, Jaime Thietten, Glenn Frey, and Kenny Loggins, who closed the show with a crowd-pleasing rendition of Footloose. In addition, the Foundation honored five individuals who have each made a significant contribution to humanity, including philanthropists Al and Cathy Annexstad, owners of Federated Insurance, Former United States Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, Academy Award-winning actress Goldie Hawn, and Baseball Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda.

Jay Leno marks 15 years hosting `Tonight Show’

Friday, May 25th, 2007

Jay Leno, marking his 15th year as host of The Tonight Show today , understands his role with NBC’s late-night institution like a good comedian knows timing.

The real trick is you never really do own these shows. You try not to screw it up for the next person,” Leno said. “It’s like the America’s Cup (sailing trophy). You want to win it and you want to keep it No. 1, and when it’s over you say, Whew, OK, your problem now.’ ”

The only one who could rightfully stake a claim, he said, was Johnny Carson, who presided over the NBC program for 30 years (1962-92) as its third high-profile host and the most enduring.

The late-night ratings leader isn’t making a big deal of the anniversary. But he’s planned a few surprises for tonight’s show and allowed NBC to invite some media attention. The network also set up a Web site where viewers can dabble in creating their own Tonight music video and promos.

In an interview earlier this week, Leno was low-key about the event. He spoke just after he’d taped a show and bolted the NBC studio, as he usually does, for his vast warehouse garage a few miles away. His collection of rare and fast cars and motorcycles is stored there.

That’s one of his primary passions. Others include his wife, Mavis, a human rights activist, and Tonight.

That’s the real key to this (the show). It’s not that you can’t have a life. It just needs to become your life,” said Leno, 57.

The persona he’s known for is eager to toil, not so eager to blow his own horn. That attitude is the legacy of his Scottish mother, Catherine, who advised that “whatever you do, don’t call attention to yourself.” (His late dad’s contrary credo: “Whatever you do, make sure people know you’re Angelo’s son.”)

I always assume I’m not as bright as the next guy, so if I work a little harder I can sort of win,” Leno said. “That’s why it says The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, not `starring Jay Leno,’ ” he said — that was Carson’s billing.

Given how hard Leno fought to get Tonight and how much he puts into it, he’s oddly sanguine about his announced, not-too-distant departure. He plans to surrender the show in 2009 and make way for NBC’s Late Night host Conan O’Brien, who has Leno’s endorsement.

O’Brien has “blossomed into a terrific talk show host, an extremely talented writer, a funny performer. He does the jokes well, does the sketches well,” Leno said.

Setting an end date, he said, slams the door on a repeat of what he and his chief rival for Tonight, David Letterman, endured as NBC dithered over filling Carson’s chair.

Leno had been the sole guest host since 1987 but that didn’t forestall a messy selection process and aftermath in which Letterman jumped from NBC to CBS.

I don’t want to see anybody go through what we went through…. This huge battle,” Leno said. Then he hastened to add: “One thing you cannot be is bitter. It’s a great ride. It’s a lot of fun. Enjoy it.”

Leno makes a point of noting how fortunate he is to have the job, as well as the 150-plus stand-up gigs a year that he does. He’s equally diligent about expressing his admiration for Letterman.

Dave’s always been a gentleman. There’s never, never been any bad words between us,” Leno said, although he concedes each may have targeted the other in jokes. “It’s fun to have an adversary, someone you consider, at the minimum, your equal.”

Letterman’s contract with CBS’ Late Show, signed last year, will keep him on the air through at least 2010.

Under Leno’s stewardship, Tonight has plotted a safe and steady course. There have been changes, including a monologue that’s doubled in size to about 11 minutes, more comedy bits and skits and less time for interviews.

Critics lament that a Letterman regime would have sharpened the show’s satiric edge. But the ratings have been with Leno, whose average nightly audience of 5.8 million viewers tops Letterman’s by 1.6 million, and he’s unapologetic about his approach.

“Hey, it’s bedtime,” he said. “Here’s a bunch of jokes. Here’s a pretty girl, here’s a handsome guy. Tell you some stories. Good night.”

Jay Leno remains relaxed about leaving

Friday, May 25th, 2007

Jay Leno, marking his 15th year as host of “The Tonight Show” on Friday, understands his role with NBC’s late-night institution like a good comedian knows timing.

“Tonight” isn’t his; he’s just borrowing it.

“The real trick is you never really do own these shows. You try not to screw it up for the next person,” Leno said. “It’s like the America’s Cup (sailing trophy). You want to win it and you want to keep it No. 1, and when it’s over you say, ‘Whew, OK, your problem now.’ ”

The only one who could rightfully stake a claim, he said, was Johnny Carson, who presided over the NBC program for 30 years (1962-92) as its third high-profile host and the most enduring.

“Obviously, Johnny owned the show and set the tone. Steve Allen was great and Jack Paar was great, but every talk show is a variation of what Johnny did. You’re always in that shadow,” Leno told The Associated Press.

The late-night ratings leader isn’t making a big deal of the anniversary. But he’s planned a few surprises for Friday’s show and allowed NBC to invite some media attention. The network also set up a Web site where viewers can dabble in creating their own “Tonight” music video and promos.

In an interview this week, Leno was low-key about the event. He spoke just after he’d taped a show and bolted the NBC studio, as he usually does, for his vast warehouse garage a few miles away. His collection of rare and fast cars and motorcycles is stored there.

That’s one of his primary passions. Others include his wife, Mavis, a human rights activist, and “Tonight.”

“That’s the real key to this (the show). It’s not that you can’t have a life. It just needs to become your life,” said Leno, 57.

The persona he’s known for is eager to toil, not so eager to blow his own horn. That attitude is the legacy of his Scottish mother, Catherine, who advised that “whatever you do, don’t call attention to yourself.” (His late dad’s contrary credo: “Whatever you do, make sure people know you’re Angelo’s son.”)

“I always assume I’m not as bright as the next guy, so if I work a little harder I can sort of win,” Leno said. “That’s why it says ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,’ not ’starring Jay Leno,’ ” he said — that was Carson’s billing.

Given how hard Leno fought to get “Tonight” and how much he puts into it, he’s oddly sanguine about his announced, not-too-distant departure. He plans to surrender the show in 2009 and make way for NBC’s “Late Night” host Conan O’Brien, who has Leno’s endorsement.

O’Brien has “blossomed into a terrific talk show host, an extremely talented writer, a funny performer. He does the jokes well, does the sketches well,” Leno said.

Setting an end date, he said, slams the door on a repeat of what he and his chief rival for “Tonight,” David Letterman, endured as NBC dithered over filling Carson’s chair.

Leno had been the sole guest host since 1987 but that didn’t forestall a messy selection process and aftermath in which Letterman jumped from NBC to CBS. (There is no official guest host for Leno, who famously shies away from breaks. He let Katie Couric take over the show, once, when he filled in at “Today.”)

“I don’t want to see anybody go through what we went through. … This huge battle,” Leno said. Then he hastened to add: “One thing you cannot be is bitter. It’s a great ride. It’s a lot of fun. Enjoy it.”

Leno makes a point of noting how fortunate he is to have the job, as well as the 150-plus standup gigs a year that he still manages to fit into his schedule. He’s equally diligent about expressing his admiration for Letterman.

“Dave’s always been a gentleman. There’s never, never been any bad words between us,” Leno said, although he concedes each may have targeted the other in jokes. “It’s fun to have an adversary, someone you consider, at the minimum, your equal.”

Letterman’s contract with CBS’ “Late Show,” signed last year, will keep him on the air through at least 2010.

Under Leno’s stewardship, “Tonight” has plotted a safe and steady course. There have been changes, including a monologue that’s doubled in size to about 11 minutes, more comedy bits and skits and less time for interviews.

Critics lament that a Letterman regime would have sharpened the show’s satiric edge. But the ratings have been with Leno, whose average nightly audience of 5.8 million viewers tops Letterman’s by 1.6 million, and he’s unapologetic about his approach.

“Hey, it’s bedtime,” he said. “Here’s a bunch of jokes. Here’s a pretty girl, here’s a handsome guy. Tell you some stories. Good night.”