Dailies | Jay Leno's ‘Tonight Show’ Exit: 8 Ways the Comedic Car Nut Can Spend His Free Time (Video)

Jay Leno's 'Tonight Show' Exit: 8 Ways the Comedic Car Nut Can Spend His Free Time (Video)

Late-night legend will likely divide his days between touring and making classic cars roadworthy. TheWrap has some other suggestions

Jay Leno will take his last “Tonight Show” bow on Thursday night, when his final guest will be his very first one from 22 years ago, Billy Crystal.

After that, the notorious workaholic will find himself with plenty of extra time on his usually busy hands. So how will Leno fill his days?

The comedian has historically performed a ton of stand-up dates each year during his more-than two decade tenure in NBC's 11:35 timeslot. (Ignoring for a moment that whole 2009 exodus and 10 p.m. “Jay Leno Show” debacle.) With a standing spot every Sunday night at the Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, Calif., Leno's now empty calendar will allow him to continue his comedy show slate, if not increase the workload.

See video: Jay Leno Roasts Jimmy Fallon During Official Passing of ‘Tonight Show’ Torch 

But the man also has a wife, Mavis, and his hobbies, to enjoy and fill his schedule with.

Leno has one of the most well-known classic car collections the world over, and he restores each vehicle by hand along with his crew. With more idle time, the soon-to-be-former “Tonight Show” host may compile an even greater number of automobiles to house in his legendary airplane hangar. Though, through Leno's efforts to make them all street legal, the Department of Motor Vehicles can undoubtedly suck up a ton of those free hours.

Also read: Entire ‘Tonight Show’ Staff Laid Off as Jimmy Fallon Moves Show From Burbank to NYC

Here are 8 things that Leno may fill up his daily planner with going forward, not counting tuning in to Jimmy Fallon‘s takeover of “The Tonight Show” on Feb. 17, of course. 

Tinker With His Lug Nuts
Watch a promo for web series “Jay Leno's Garage”:

Even More Stand-up
Watch Leno at 1985's Just for Laughs:

See video: Jay Leno on ‘Tonight Show’ Ouster: ‘I Was Blindsided'; Compares Jimmy Fallon to Johnny Carson

Guest on Other People's Late-Night Talk Shows
Watch Leno on “The Late Late Show” with Craig Ferguson:

Spend Time With Presidents
Watch Leno roast President Obama:

See video: ‘SNL': Seth Meyers’ Goodbye Includes Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Andy Samberg and Fred Armisen

Hang out With His Cat
Watch Leno share a funny home video of his kitty on “Ellen”:

Hawk Snack Chips
Watch this 1985 Doritos spot featuring Leno the spokesman:

See video: Jay Leno on ‘Tonight Show’ Exit: 5 Other Surprising Quotes From His '60 Minutes’ Interview

Catch Up With Friends Over Coffee
Watch Leno on Jerry Seinfeld's “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”:

Go to the History Channel?
Leno, in a recent “60 Minutes” interview said he's not sure what's next, professionally. “I don't know what I'll do. Will I do another late night show to go against any of these people? No. No, that- no. You can't recreate what we had at ‘The Tonight Show,'” he said. “That was a 22-year moment in time. It was fantastic. And I loved it. Would I like to do things with- oh, I don't know, History Channel? Yeah, I think that would be fun to do.”

Watch the interview:


  • Seanpb

    I said it at the time and I'll say it again, when NBC decided to hand The Tonight Show over to Conan and didn't know what to do with Leno the right move was staring them in the face.

    Have Leno become the face of American Top Gear.

    The strength of the original is how it functions not as a car show, but a classic light entertainment programme that just happens to be about cars. It's the three host's love of the topic and their camaraderie and chemistry that makes it so brilliant. It's also what makes the various knock offs are so woeful (see Australian Top Gear, where everything seemed so forced).

    Whilst Leno would only have been one of the three pronged attack, he's a well known car nut, would be able to talk about cars seamlessly and interact with guests in the same way. He's inoffensive, reasonably charming, popular in the mainstream, can be marketed to create excitement and can riff on the spot.

    Also, the road trip, taped segments would have offered him a great opportunity to step out from behind a desk and show another side of his character. I reckon he'd have excelled doing this, he's made for it. The star in a reasonably priced car segment would simply be an interview like The Tonight Show, the sort which he has effortlessly peeled off for 20-plus years.

    it also creates a great cross-over opportunity with the British original for the two shows to intertwine in various specials and challenges. With Leno involved the profile of the whole thing is magnified.

    Anyway, didn't happen.

  • frequebtflier

    Jay is the classiest guy on TV. Conan's jab at Jay was sour grapes that he could not carry a show with good humor and as much class as Johnny and Jay. Guess now I need to look for comedy reruns at 11:30

  • frequebtflier

    Hey maybe the best of Leno, reruns of 22 years on someplace like FX or Spike at 11:30. bet he still beats Conan and Letterman.

  • Linda Jenkins

    Jimmy Fallon may have many followers but Jay Leno's are in the millions. He wont last long NBC. Did you moms taught you that old adage – ”when it's not broken – don't fix it!”