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Jay Leno: Hard Work And Success In The Comedy Industry

1443 words - 6 pages

Jay Leno: Hard Work and Success in the Comedy Industry

At a young age it is instilled in the mind that hard work pays off, and that following these words of wisdom can ultimately lead to success throughout life. For those skeptics and nonbelievers, Jay Leno has been a real-life example in proving this theory through his great success in the comedy industry. Though Jay Leno is known as the king of late night television today, he didn’t start out on top, and it was a long journey to get there. Jay’s success didn’t happen over night and for most of his life he was constantly working towards his goals and the achievements he now holds. During Jay’s childhood, his goals and dreams became set in his mind, and his journey as an aspiring comedian began. As Leno grew older and began searching for employment, he was forced to see the harsh reality of the hard work that becoming a comedian would entail. Finally, after many years of working towards his ambitions, Jay reached his “pay off” as becoming the host of The Tonight Show, where he enjoys enormous success and a loyal audience. In fall of 2009, Jay will face a different challenge in his career in hosting a new show in a prime time slot on NBC. Though Jay Leno’s journey to success may have been a difficult one, it is obvious that he now reaps the benefits of his constant efforts toward advancing in his career. Though ‘hard work pays off’ can seem to be a meaningless and empty phrase for some, in Jay Leno’s case the saying rings true.
Even at an early age, Jay Leno began working towards his goal of becoming a comedian. On April 28, 1950, James Douglas Muir Leno was born in New Rochelle New York. Jay was born to Angelo Leno of Italian descent, and Cathryn Muir a Scottish immigrant. As a child, growing up in Andover Massachusetts, Jay was always trying to be the class clown and often dreamed of taking over for Johnny Carson as host of The Tonight Show (“About…”, par.2). Little did he know that this lifelong dream would one day come true. Though his comedy was quick to win people over, his grades were never up to par. Ever since childhood, Jay has suffered from a mild form of dyslexia, which may have partially accounted for his low grades (“Biography…”, par. 13). On Jay’s fifth grade report card his teacher mentioned that, “If Jay spent as much time studying as he does trying to be a comedian, he’d be a big star” (“Jay Leno Biography”, par. 5). Even in high school, Jay’s grades suffered so much that his counselor suggested dropping out (“About…” par. 2). Throughout his high school years, Jay worked at a McDonald’s in his home town. After entering a McDonald’s regional talent show for employees, Jay and a friend were able to win, using a comedy routine Jay wrote. Through winning the talent show, Jay first contemplated the thought of earning money for comedy. Though odd yet true, Jay accredits McDonald’s for setting his dream of being a comedian in motion (Leno 58, 59). Although his grades caused a...

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