James Douglas Muir "Jay" Leno (born April 28, 1950, in New Rochelle, New York) is an American comedian and television host, best known for succeeding Johnny Carson as the host of The Tonight Show on NBC. Leno was the voice of Jack O'Lantern in Scooby-Doo! and the Goblin King.
Jay Leno began his career in nightclubs, where he worked 300 nights a year before hitting it big in 1992 with his own late-night talk show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992). By that time Leno had appeared on television and acted in a few films, such as American Hot Wax (1978), but hit paydirt with his late-night television appearances (he made a record number of visits to Late Night with David Letterman ). For several years, he served as Johnny Carson's permanent guest host on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962).
A big, sweet guy with a very good comedy routine, Leno vied with David Letterman to inherit Carson's seat when Johnny retired in 1992. Leno's victory was well-publicized, but empty, though he did gain a measure of revenge when his show beat Letterman's for the Emmy in 1995. Though he consistently lost in the ratings to Letterman except on special occasions, like Hugh Grant's first TV appearance after his encounter with Divine Brown, Leno surged ahead in 1996, as CBS plunged further into oblivion.