Tonight Show King JAY LENO Exits at #1 Keeping It Real…Then And Now.

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According to a recent poll, Leno is one of the five most popular people on television, and soon he will no longer be on it. It’s a part of a demographic shift that is beginning to affect millions of baby boomers being pushed aside to make way for a younger generation. The inevitable changing of the guard that also reflects a change in tastes, sensibilities and values. As one of the country’s most influential comedians, Leno has been part of the national conversation during four presidencies, and a central figure in one of the most bizarre television debacles of the past 20 years.
In 1992, we did our first interview with him when he was about to take over “The Tonight Show.” Last month we sat down again with Jay and Mavis Leno, his wife of 33 years, to talk about everything that’s happened, what Jay wants to do next, and his current state of mind.

“I always tell new people in show business,”says Leno, “Look, show business pays you a lot of money, because eventually you’re gonna get screwed. And when you get screwed, you will have this pile of money off to the side already.” And they go, “OK, OK. OK, you ready? You ready?” “I got screwed.” “You got the pile of money?” “Yeah, I’m fine.” I mean, that’s the way it works. I mean, you know, that’s– that’s the way these things are. That’s the way it happens.

And no one knows it better than Jay Leno. He’s been in show business for more than 40 years, earned hundreds of millions of dollars and is more than familiar with getting screwed. He almost never complains about it unless it’s in the form of a joke.

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