The late-night host on advice to younger comedians, what he'll miss most about his show and dealing with criticism: "When I pick up an article that says, 'Jay Leno sucks,' I don’t get any more depressed than when I pick up one that says, 'Jay Leno is the funniest person.'"
"If you're any good, people will find you. I always tell comics, 'If you're on at the Improv, The Laugh Factory and the Comedy Store every night of the week, if you're any good, they will find you. Believe me, they will find you,'" says Leno, on not having an agent or a manager representing him. He was photographed Jan. 22 at The Tonight Show’s studio in Burbank.
Leno on what he will miss the most: "I like coming to work every day. I like the people I work with. I think our writing staff is probably the highest paid because they’ve been here the longest. Most of the writers have been here 20 years; producers have been here all 22 years. Everybody’s been here since the beginning. People say it’s a family, which is a little hokey, but it is. Mr. Fezziwig from [Charles] Dickens'A Christmas Carol was always my role model."
Leno when asked who he turns to for advice: "There's a phrase I like, and it’s rather crude: 'Don’t fall in love with a hooker.' And that’s really what show business is. I have a wonderful wife. We’ve been together for 34 years. I have the same friends I had in high school. I have my guys who work in my garage, and then there are comedians like JerrySeinfeld, LarryMiller and JimmyBrogan. That’s the group."
"People can debate whether something was funny or not funny -- it's pretty subjective -- but what you can't change are the numbers," said Leno on what people hopefully will remember him by. "My job was to have the No. 1 show. I was given the No. 1 talk show, and for the last 20 years, we've been the No. 1 talk show all the way through. That's what you look at."