Celebrating Jay Leno
The All-star Cast
An all-star cast of actors, performers and musicians celebrate the life and humor of Jay Leno.
Jerry Seinfeld's comedy career took off after his first appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1981. Eight years later, he teamed up with fellow comedian Larry David to create what was to become the most successful comedy series in the history of television: Seinfeld. The show ran on NBC for nine seasons, winning numerous Emmy, Golden Globe and People’s Choice awards, and was named the greatest television show of all time in 2009 by TV Guide, and in 2012 was identified as the best sitcom ever in a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll. Seinfeld has also starred in, written and produced movies (Comedian, Bee Movie), directed and produced a Broadway hit (Colin Quinn Long Story Short), and even wrote a best-selling book (Seinlanguage) and a children’s book (Halloween). Seinfeld’s latest project is critically-acclaimed web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, seen exclusively on Crackle and comediandsincarsgettingcoffee.com, which has garnered more than 10 million views, and which the New York Times describes as “impressively complex and artful” and Variety calls “a game changer.” Seinfeld resides in New York City with his wife and three children. He remains active as a standup comedy performer, touring the country continuously.
Kevin Eubanks has appeared at Lincoln Center, Ford's Theatre, the Fillmore, the Taft Hotel (New Haven), the Nixon Theatre (Pittsburgh), the Madison (sketchy bar in Miami), the Hoover Dam, the George Washington Bridge, and the Cleveland Clinic, so he feels right at home here. Familiar to television audiences, and to anyone who will be familiar with him, he was a Hollywood Square for six years and a big mother on Broadway in the musical Hairspray. He has won Emmys for writing the Oscar show (23 times, not all of them winners) and has written for the redhead in question on many occasions.
Chelsea Handler was honored as one of Glamour Magazine’s 2011 “Women of the Year” and was also featured in TIME Magazine’s annual “TIME 100” Portfolio last year. In August Chelsea left her spot as the host of E!’s Chelsea Lately and moved over to a new show at Netflix slated for a release in 2016. She built Chelsea Lately into one of the highest rated shows on E!, she consistently drew higher ratings than her late night competitors (especially among women 18 to 34) and brought in an average of 900,000 viewers per episode. The show was groundbreaking for female comedy writers as it was the first of its kind to have an unprecedented five women on staff, comprising half of the writing team. Handler is one of the leading nonfiction authors with five bestselling books currently in print. Chelsea also built her resume as a film and television actress with credits including Paramount’s comedy Fun Size, opposite Johnny Knoxville and Victoria Justice, Universal Picture’s 2011 family comedy Hop starring James Marsden and Russell Brand, as well as director McG’s recent action-comedy This Means War, co-starring Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, and Tom Hardy. Television credits include Oxygen’s Girls Behaving Badly (now syndicated in over 90 markets); Are You There, Chelsea? and the web series In The Motherhood. Handler, who grew up in New Jersey, currently resides in Los Angeles.
Seth Meyers is an Emmy Award-winning writer and the host of Late Night with Seth Meyers. Recently named one of the 2014 TIME 100, Time magazine's 100 most influential people, Seth recently hosted the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards. Meyers began his TV career with Saturday Night Live in 2001, where he was a cast member for 13 seasons. Meyers acted as head writer for nine seasons and Weekend Update anchor for eight seasons. In 2011, Meyers won the Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for host Justin Timberlake's musical monologue. Meyers also garnered 10 additional Emmy nominations for his work as a writer in television. A graduate of Northwestern University, he studied and performed at ImprovOlympic before moving on to the Boom Chicago Theater in Amsterdam, Holland. His acclaimed show, Pick-Ups and Hiccups with partner Jill Benjamin, toured Europe and eventually caught the eye of SNL. Meyers also executive produces and lends his voice to Hulu's animated superhero show The Awesomes. The show premiered in August 2013 and quickly became a runaway hit. Hulu recently picked it up for a third season. Meyers hosted the 2010 and 2011 ESPY Awards on ESPN and headlined the 2011 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner to rave reviews. Meyers currently resides in New York City.
J.B. Smoove, was born in Plymouth, North Carolina and raised in Mount Vernon, New York. His breakout role on Curb Your Enthusiasm as Leon has firmly planted him as one of the best comedic actors today. In the standup and acting worlds, Smoove has been featured on Tough Crowd, Jamie Foxx Presents: Laffapalooza, Saturday Night Live sketches and recurring spots on Late Night with Conan O’ Brien, Everybody Hates Chris, ’Til Death, Bent, and The Real Husbands of Hollywood. Recently, he was seen as host of the new Comedy Central standup series, Russell Simmons Presents: The Ruckus, and shot his own one-hour stand-up special, How I Dooz It. He is currently co-starring in the CBS comedy The Millers and has just launched season two of his show Four Courses with J.B. Smoove on the MSG Network. He was also the most recent host of NBC’s Last Comic Standing. On the big screen, he appeared in Date Night, and the Farrelly Brothers directed comedy, Hall Pass, as well as The Sitter, We Bought a Zoo, and The Dictator. He is currently filming Search Party for director Scot Armstrong. Smoove is a car enthusiast, loves pool, is an avid sports fan and a proud supporter of the Mt. Vernon Boys and Girls Club. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife.
Wanda Sykes has been called "one of the funniest stand-up comics" by her peers and ranks among Entertainment Weekly's 25 Funniest People in America. Her smart-witted stand up has sent her career in many different areas. In 2012 Wanda joined forces with veteran producer Page Hurwitz to form Push It Productions, a production company dedicated to creating quality, comedy-based programming for network and cable television outlets. The company's diverse slate of projects includes sketch comedy, concerts, reality, talk/variety, and competition formats. Their first set of specials, Herlarious aired in summer of 2013 and January 2014 on Own and was the recipient of a 2014 Gracie Award. She can currently be seen on the Amazon Prime show Alpha House created by Gary Trudeau about a group of Republican Senators who share the same DC rental house; Last year she made a return to HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm; she also spent five years on CBS's New Adventures of Old Christine. In 2010 she starred on her own late night talk show on FOX, The Wanda Sykes Show. Other TV credits include Fox's Wanda at Large which she wrote, produced and starred in; Wanda Does It on Comedy Central and on Crank Yankers as the voice of Gladys Murphy. She can be heard in many animated feature films; Ice Age: Continental Drift as ‘Granny'; in FOX's Rio as ‘the Goose’; in Dreamworks’ Over the Hedge and Paramount’s The Barnyard. Sykes was also seen in the feature films Evan Almighty, in which she co-starred with Steve Carell; the New Line feature Monster-In-Law starring opposite Jane Fonda, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Pootie Tang, Nutty Professor 2; The Klumps, and Down to Earth. Her first book titled Yeah, I Said It, published by Simon and Schuster, hit bookstores in September 2004.
Betty White (appearing remotely) Although she turned 92 in January, 2014, it won’t slow down comedy legend Betty White, one of the funniest and busiest actresses in Hollywood. With a career that has spanned more than 60 years, the seven-time Emmy Award winner has created unforgettable roles in television and film, authored eight books and won numerous awards, including those for her lifelong work for animal welfare. Most recently, she has been named America’s Most Appealing Celebrity by Reuters and has been added to the Guinness World Records under the title, “Longest TV Career for an Entertainer (Female).” White’s first comedy series, Life with Elizabeth, brought her first Emmy Award in 1952, followed by a daily NBC talk/variety show called The Betty White Show. She was a recurring regular with over 70 appearances on The Tonight Show with Jack Paar, and appeared on The Merv Griffin Show and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. She also subbed as host on all three talk shows. Her recurring role as “Happy Homemaker” Sue Ann Nivens in the classic series The Mary Tyler Moore Show brought two Emmys for Best Supporting Actress in 1974-75 and 1975-76. She received her fourth Emmy for Best Daytime Game Show Host for Just Men. Nominated seven times for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Rose Nylund in The Golden Girls, White won the Emmy the first season in 1985, and later appeared in the spin-off The Golden Palace for one season When she hosted NBC’s Saturday Night Live in 2010, it was one of the highest-rated episodes in the show’s history, and earned her an Emmy Award for Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, bringing White’s Emmy total to seven awards. Betty was also Executive Producer and Host of the hit NBC series Off Their Rockers, and is now serving in the same capacity for the Lifetime network. A passionate supporter of animal health and welfare, White was recently named Chairman of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, has served on the board since 1974 and as a Zoo Commissioner for eight years. Betty lives in Brentwood, California with her golden retriever, Pontiac.
Jamie Foxx (appearing remotely) An Academy Award® winning actor, talented Grammy Award® winning musical artist and comedian, Jamie Foxx is one of Hollywood’s rare elite multi-faceted performers. Foxx most recently starred in Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 for Sony Pictures, alongside Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone as the villain, Electro (alter ego to Max Dillon).He can next be seen in Annie as ‘Will Stacks’ opposite Oscar® nominee, Quvenzhané Wallis and Cameron Diaz for director Will Gluck, and producers Will Smith and Jay-Z. Sony Pictures has set the release for December 2014. Other recent film credits include: Quentin Tarantino’s critically acclaimed, Django Unchained as the title character, opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, and Samuel L. Jackson, and Roland Emmerich’s White House Down opposite Channing Tatum. In addition to his outstanding work in film, Foxx has also achieved a thriving career in music. In December 2010, he released his fourth album, Best Night of My Life, featuring Drake, Justin Timberlake, Rick Ross, T.I., and other artists. In January 2010, Foxx and T-Pain’s record breaking #1 song Blame It off of his previous album, Intuition, won “Best R&B performance by a duo/group with vocals” at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards®. In 2005, Jamie’s portrayal of the legendary Ray Charles in Ray garnered him an Academy Award® for Best Actor and proved to be one of his career’s defining performances. Foxx’s big-screen break came in 1999 when Oliver Stone cast him as star quarterback Willie Beamen in Any Given Sunday, with Al Pacino. Jamie Foxx first rose to fame as a comedian, from which he initiated a potent career trajectory of ambitious projects. After spending time in the comedy circuit, he joined Keenan Ivory Wayans, Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans and Tommy Davidson in the landmark Fox sketch comedy series, In Living Color, creating some of the show’s funniest and most memorable moments.
Garth Brooks Certified by the RIAA in 2000 as the #1-selling solo artist in U.S. history, Garth Brooks is now certified at 134 million albums and has received every accolade the recording industry can bestow on an artist. In 2001, Garth retired and moved back to Oklahoma to raise his children. In 2008 the President-elect, himself, requested that Garth headline President Obama's Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. A crowd of over 300,000 did the "wave" to Garth's performance of "Shout" while the President sang along. That same year the Governor of California asked Garth to help the State. Garth performed 5 concerts in 2 days with the proceeds from 83,000 tickets sold donated to efforts to prevent fire catastrophes. Portions of the live concerts were shown as a TV special, Garth Brooks: Live in L.A. allowing viewers to donate as well. In December 2010, Garth finished an astonishing 9 sold out concerts in 6 days to raise money for the flood relief efforts in Tennessee. ABC World News Tonight declared Garth The Person of the Week and the Mayor of Nashville announced that this was a record December for downtown Nashville merchants due to the over 145,000 who attended the concerts. In January, 2012 he was named the best-selling artist of the last two decades by Billboard, Nielson and SoundScan, with a whopping 68.5 million sales. Brooks also sold out his recent appearance at the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede. The sell-out 15,000+ seats happened in less then a minute. Garth was recently inducted into the International Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York as well as the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. In October he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Performing for his induction were his heroes George Strait, James Taylor and Bob Seger. On November 29th, 2013, Garth took the night with almost 9 million viewers watching his CBS special Live From Las Vegas. That very day Garth released his new boxed set, Blame It All On My Roots, which debuted for the 13th time in Garth's career at #1 on the country charts. The boxed set also rose to the top of the Billboard 200 Chart making it the 9th time Garth has been able to achieve that feat. Garth's performance of "Friends in Low Places," was the last thing heard on The Tonight Show as Jay Leno ended his 22 year reign as The Tonight Show host. On Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014, Garth released a new single, "People Loving People." It was his first new single since 2008.
Kristin Chenoweth Emmy and Tony Award winner and Hollywood Bowl and Oklahoma Hall of Fame inductee, Kristin Chenoweth effortlessly transitions between stage, television, film and an accomplished singing career. She received rave reviews while starring in the ABC series Pushing Daisies, where she received an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. This spring, Chenoweth co-starred in the animated film Rio 2, which is now available on home entertainment platforms. She also appeared in a guest arc on the TV Land series Kirstie and reprised her nominated role in the 100th episode of Glee. In May, she returned to the famed Carnegie Hall for a sold-out concert. Her first solo-concert at Carnegie Hall was in 2004, also to a sold-out audience This fall, Chenoweth will host the PBS Arts Fall Festival, featuring classic Broadway hits, music from around the country and theatre performances. The festival will include her own concert performance, Kristin Chenoweth: Coming Home, where she will perform a career-spanning concert in her hometown of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. The concert will be released as a live CD and DVD and filmed for a PBS television special and will air on November 28. Chenoweth will return to Broadway, playing the glamorous film star, Lily Garland, in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s 20-week limited engagement of On the Twentieth Century, in early 2015. Chenoweth is a graduate of Oklahoma City University with a Master’s degree in Opera Performance.
Al Madrigal With more than 15 years as a stand-up, Al Madrigal has found success as an actor, correspondent and podcaster as well as on the live stage. Madrigal stars as Andy, a thoroughly whipped stay-at-home dad, alongside Minnie Driver and David Walton in the hit NBC comedy, About A Boy, (Tuesdays 9/8c). And since 2011, Madrigal has filed regular correspondent pieces on the Emmy Award winning The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. In 2013, Madrigal starred in his first hour-long stand-up special, Why Is the Rabbit Crying, on Comedy Central. The special is now available as a CD, DVD and download. He starred in his own Comedy Central Presents special and has been seen on Conan, The Tonight Show, The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Chelsea Lately and Jimmy Kimmel Live. On October 1, 2013, Madrigal and Bill Burr launched the All Things Comedy network (ATC), a podcast and video network founded, owned and operated entirely by comedians. On ATC, Madrigal and fellow comedian Maz Jobrani host Minivan Men, a weekly podcast for regular people with children. Madrigal has been seen on NBC's Free Agents, co-starring Hank Azaria; Welcome to the Captain, with Jeffrey Tambor & Raquel Welch; Gary Unmarried, alongside Jay Mohr; The Tax Men, opposite Martin Short; and The Ortegas, where he was the series lead. When he’s not touring, Madrigal lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.
Jimmy Fallon is a television host, comedian, actor, singer, musician and producer. He currently hosts the legendary late-night talk show, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The show moved its tapings from Los Angeles back to its New York origins. Fallon's debut of the Tonight Show on NBC engaged 11.3 million viewers making it the most watched late night show in years. Fallon puts his own stamp on the late-night franchise with his unique comedic wit, on-point pop culture awareness, welcoming style and impeccable taste in music with the award-winning house band, The Roots. The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon continues to dominate late night. An Emmy and Grammy Award winner, Fallon most recently won an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series”. Jimmy Fallon began his TV career with Saturday Night Live in 1998, where he quickly became an audience favorite. Known for his spot-on impressions, hilarious sketches and his stint with Tina Fey as co-anchor of Weekend Update, Fallon spent six successful years on the show. In March of 2009, Fallon returned to NBC and took over the Late Night legacy with Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. In just four years, Fallon and the Late Night team began collecting awards, including the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Late Night Talk Show Host, an Emmy for the show’s website in the Interactive Media category and the “Webby Person of the Year” Award in 2009.