Jay Leno is a stand-up comedian, writer, TV host, actor, and producer. His net worth is estimated at $350 million.
Jay Leno Net Worth: The Foundation
James Douglas Muir Leno was born on 28th April, 1950 in New Rochelle, New York to mother Catherine who was a home maker and immigrant to the US from Scotland and father Angelo who was an insurance salesman born in New York to Italian immigrants. During high school, Leno was referred to as the class clown.
Leno launched his career by taking up acts in night clubs and later launched a comedy club in 1973. He then began taking up minor roles in several films and TV series including Good Times, Holmes & Yo-Yo. In 1977, he made his debut on “The Tonight Show” as a performing comedian.
Throughout the 70’s and early 80’s Leno continued appearing in a number of films and TV series including Almost Heaven, Americathon, The Wild One and more. A decade later, in 1989 after his debut on The Tonight Show, Leno became a regular substitute for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. He completely replaced him in 1992 in a rather turbulent transition which was later adapted into a book and movie titled The Late Shift.
Jay Leno Net Worth: How He Made His Money
Leno’s first salary as a host for “The Tonight Show” was $1 million, it increased in 1994 to $3 million. His salary continued to increase rapidly each year until it reach its peak- $30 million between 2009 and 2010. It took a little dive in 2010 to $25 million and then $15 million in 2011 – 2014.
In 2004, he signed a contract extension with NBC which saw him earn $20 million from then to 2009 when he decided to retire as host of the show to start his own eponymous show. However, the Jay Leno Show was unsuccessful and was cancelled in 2010, he then returned to continue as host of Tonight Show the same year, which was the year he received his highest paycheck as the show’s host.
The King of Late Night retired from hosting the popular show in 2014, after a successful career that spanned over 2 decades. He was inducted into the TV Hall of Fame the same year. Since retiring, he has made appearances on “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon“, “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and more.
Jay bolsters his TV show earnings with stand-up comedy. He performs over 150 stand-up comedy gigs every year which makes him between $15 million and $20 million every year. Even after retiring, Leno continues to tour as a stand-up comedian.
Apart from his work about his turbulent transition to becoming host of TTS, “The Late Shift”, Leno has penned another book, “Leading With My Chin” which was inspired by his prominent jaw. The book talks about how he is aware surgery would reset his jaw but he’d rather live without surgery as it would have to keep him from talking during the healing process.
In recent film works, Leno has lent his voice for ‘Fast Eddie’ in “Ice Age 2: The Meltdown” and ‘The Crimson Chin’ in “The Fairly OddParents”. He has also made cameo appearances in a number of movies including Ted 2.
Leno is an avid car collector, he has almost 300 vehicles including 117 motorbikes valued at $50 million. He writes about his wide range of cars in his blog jaylenosgarage.com. One of his most prestigious cars is the McLaren F1 which is valued at $870,000. He also owns a fire truck, an American-LaFrance built in 1941.
Jay Leno has been married to wife Mavis Leno since 1980.