Breaking News Bar
posted: 5/24/2014 5:45 AM

Jay Leno says he's enjoying retirement

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Comedian Jay Leno said he feels "liberated" to travel and invest more in his standup routines now that he's not on TV anymore.

      Comedian Jay Leno said he feels "liberated" to travel and invest more in his standup routines now that he's not on TV anymore.
    Associated Press

 
By Aron Heller, Associated Press

JERUSALEM -- After two decades of hosting "The Tonight Show," Jay Leno says his transition into retirement has been seamless.

Without the daily grind of hosting NBC's popular late-night show, Leno said he feels "liberated" to travel and invest more in his standup routines.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

"Write joke. Tell joke. Get check. It's pretty simple. It's not a hard plan," he joked in an interview with The Associated Press.

This week he made his first trip to Israel, where he hosted an award ceremony Thursday honoring former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his philanthropic efforts.

The 64-year-old Leno retired in February and was replaced by former "Saturday Night Live" star Jimmy Fallon.

"He's a great friend of mine and I think he is doing a terrific job," Leno said Wednesday. "At some point you realize it is time to step down ... I'm having a good time now."

Leno said the best part was not having the burden of preparing for the show every day.

"You don't have to watch 'Noah' and all these other films, these kinds of kid movies. You get to a certain age where 'OK, I'm over the superhero thing,'" he said. "I don't have to do that anymore so that's fantastic!"

He said he'd gladly be a guest on Fallon's show at some point but was not itching to get back into TV yet.

"I have no problem doing that, but I think that once you leave you've got to let the ground lay fallow for a while," he said.

Along with his wife, Mavis, Leno has been one of the leaders of a growing boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel, protesting the harsh new Islamic laws imposed by the sultan of the Southeast Asia nation of Brunei -- who owns the hotel.

Leno said had no plans to be overly politically active and said he was just "doing what is right." Regardless, he said there was no way any of his convictions would find their way into his acts.

"That's the first rule of comedy: You don't put your cause ahead of the joke. People come to see you to be entertained, to have a laugh," he said.

But Leno, who also recently performed in China, London and Rome, had no problem professing his admiration for Israel at a time when pro-Palestinian activists have been urging entertainers to boycott the Jewish state.

"I'm a huge supporter of Israel and always have been," he said. "It is a democracy in the Middle East and I don't like to see the little guy getting picked on by the big guy."

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.