Massachusetts’ Jay Leno Brings Support – and Donuts – to Striking Television Writers
Despite broken ribs, kneecaps and a fractured collarbone – and the fact that his own Tonight Show aired its final episode nearly a decade ago – Jay Leno arrived at a Los Angeles Writers Guild of America picket line to show his support.
And, channeling another New England icon, he brought donuts.
Leno, whose nightly monologue averaged 35 jokes per show, is recovering from a near-fatal accident in his garage and a terrifying motorcycle accident thanks to an unflagged wire dangling through a Los Angeles parking lot.
Despite some unfair harm to his image from a ridiculous network decision that impacted three other talk show hosts with New England ties, Leno is one of the biggest supporters of comedy writers on the planet.
Don’t believe me? Then read this for my own firsthand account (and CLICK HERE TO LISTEN to our interview).
Famous for telling writers they don’t have to worry about the typical 13-week contract cycles (and employing essentially the same writing staff for over two decades), Leno also offered his support (and doughnuts) during the last Writers’ Strike in 2008.
A native of Andover and the son of a blue-collar New Yorker, Leno has never been shy about his pro-union leanings. During his final Tonight Show broadcast in 2014, Leno said:
“I got to work with lighting people who make me look better than I really am. I got to work with sound people who make me sound better than I actually do. And I got to work with producers, and writers…I’m proud to say this is a union show – and I have never worked with a more professional group of people in my life.”
It remains unclear how long the strike will continue, with compensation for comedy/variety series and pay rates for streaming shows being central issues.
CLICK HERE to hear Leno talk about his early days performing in Boston's Combat Zone.