Recently, Jay Leno announced his intention to step down as the host of the Tonight Show on NBC after the completion of the Winter Olympics in 2014. Leno, although not known by some, grew up here in Andover. He was an immensely successful comedian, one of the more famous to exist.
Leno attended high school in what is now West Middle School. He was not an excellent student, as he was recommended to drop out of high school by his counselor. However, he later obtained a Bachelor’s degree in speech therapy from Emerson College. In the 1970’s, Leno commenced with his acting career, starring in several minor films. In 1987, he substituted Johnny Carson as the host of the Tonight Show. He took over the position in 1992, and continued to host until 2009. He continued with stand-up comedy throughout this time. In 2009, Conan O’Brien succeeded him, prompting Leno to host the new “Jay Leno Show”. However, due to low ratings and confliction with the Winter Olympics of 2010, he went back to hosting the Tonight Show. In April of 2013, it was announced Jimmy Fallon would take over to attract younger viewers.
Leno’s career was amazing, and even more so to know he originated from Andover.