The Real Reason You Don’t Hear From Jay Leno


Although Leno is no longer doing The Tonight Show, it doesn’t mean he’s quit telling jokes. He’s far from retired and hits the road doing an astounding 200 shows a year, according to a Q&A with the Boston Globe. It’s a job he’ll never get tired of for a number of reasons.

“The fact that it’s all you. When you do a TV show, you need 175 people, lighting, line producers, caterers, limo guy,” Leno explained of his love of stand-up comedy. “On the road, you just show up. It’s the most primitive form of entertainment — just one person talking. With the exception of the microphone, it hasn’t changed in hundreds of years. We live in an age where people don’t gather anymore. When you’re in a room doing comedy, you’re sharing something. Laughter’s infectious.”

This spring, Leno returned to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., some three years after being recognized with the Mark Twain Prize. This time, he did his stand-up routine. He clued in fans on what his act is like these days. “Just telling a few jokes, trying to make a living,” Leno told WTOP. “I was a stand-up comedian before I got The Tonight Show and I was a stand-up comedian during The Tonight Show, and now that the show is over, that’s what I’m back to doing again. It’s fun! I actually like it. It’s actually really good.”

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