He does fine on 4 to 5 hours a night for sleep.
His car collection is in 3 warehouses. Each is the size of a football field. He has 4 guys working there full time.
On YouTube he has dozens and dozens of vids under “Jay Leno’s Garage”. I love them, they’re really good. His taste in cars is mine, basically.
He started out as a detail kid at a dealership when he was about 16, later became a mechanic and worked for a dealership maintaining Mercedes and Rolls Royces. He’s a true mechanic, in any case, and I suspect he knows more than the average mechanic.
When you watch his vids, it’s clear this is a guy who doesn’t need writers for his comedy. He’s just a naturally funny guy. One of my faves is when he talked about running one of his Stanley Steamers on the freeway at 70 mph. He said it’s like “driving a bar stool at 70 mph”. (!!)
As you can see on his vids, more than a few times he’s created state of the art vehicles from scratch, like a car and a motorcycle that use helicopter turbine engines.
In addition to gas, he also collects electric and steam cars from all eras. If you like cars at all, just spending time on his vids is fun and educational. He’s a guy who’s way more than just a collector.
He also works hard to promote the field for repair techs by trying to encourage kids to get that education. He writes articles for car industry repair trade magazines (I’ve seen at least two myself).
Jay Leno’s Annual Salary (when at Tonight Show)
$15 Million Per Year
Date of Birth
April 28, 1950
Place of Birth
New Rochelle (but if I’m not mistaken, he primarily grew up in Andover Mass, or at least Mass.)
Jay Leno has a net worth of $350 million and an annual salary of $15 million (when at the Tonight Show). On top of his Tonight Show salary, Jay earns an additional $15 – $20 million per year from a hectic stand up touring schedule. Jay has stated in past interviews that 100% of the money he earns from The Tonight Show, after taxes and fees, goes directly into his bank account and he just lives off his stand up earnings.
Incredibly, Jay also confirmed that he does not have an agent or a manager to help him negotiate deals. (Sheesh, that saved him a ton of money right there, and I’m sure he was up to the task). Apart from the car collection, he’s a very frugal guy.
Leno owns approximately 886 vehicles (769 automobiles and 117 motorcycles). Also keep in mind that quite a few of his cars were bought when cheap, but are worth a lot more now. He has stated he does not sell vehicles; he keeps everything he buys, which is not true for most collectors.
Leno is dyslexic and has a prominent jaw, which has been described as mandibular prognathism. In the book Leading with My Chin he stated that he is aware of surgery that could reset his mandible, but does not wish to endure a prolonged healing period with his jaws wired shut. It appeared to me his older brother did not have that kind of jaw. (My view is that if his jaw does not give him pain, then why do anything? Everybody’s used to it anyway.)
Leno’s older brother Patrick Leno (10 years older), a Vietnam Veteran and graduate of Yale Law School, died in 2002 at the age of 62 due to complications from cancer. I think he was a lawyer but not sure.
He contributes or spends time helping charities.
By mutual agreement he and his wife Mavis (married 1980) have no kids. Leno does not drink or smoke, nor does he gamble. He spends most of his free time visiting car collections or working in his private garage.
“It’s cheaper to have 35 cars and 1 wife than 1 car and 35 wives.” I like that quote, funny as usual.
He has a regular column in Popular Mechanics which showcases his car collection and gives advice about various automotive topics, including restoration and unique models, such as his jet-powered motorcycle and solar-powered hybrid. Leno also writes occasional “Motormouth” articles for The Sunday Times, reviewing high-end sports cars and giving his humorous take on automotive matters.
I made a point to record his last night on the Tonight Show. I think I saved his goodbye onto a DVD. It was an incredibly moving 3 minutes or so, and he had a hard time getting through it. Me, too. The focus was on “family”.
There were those various controversies regarding all the slop with what host deserved to be hosting whatever some time back when all those shows were in upheaval. My take is that Leno was not a bad guy. He might’ve made one statement early in the game that was innocent based on what he thought the network was going to do, that might’ve been premature, but was not a bad guy kinda thing by any stretch.
What is it about late night talk show hosts being on the tall side?
As far as the signature at the end of my emails lately below, I just really like that, and agree.
When driving a car:
“All the fun is between 40 and 110.”