Leno Wit: His Life and Humor

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The Leno Wit tells Jay Leno's fascinating life story, capturing the laugh-out-loud humor that has millions of viewers tuning in every night to watch The Tonight Show. In this candid look at Leno's life and career, Jay Walker reveals how America's favorite late-night talk show host rose from wise-cracking New England schoolboy to nationally known stand-up comedian, eventually beating out David Letterman to gain the Tonight Show throne. Leno's life story is here, from his days as a class clown to his rough early ...
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New York, NY 1997 Hardcover New Book Brand new. 1st printing. In very good DJ. Book is very near perfect. Quantity Available: 1. Category: Humor; Biography & Autobiography. ... ISBN: 0688149936. ISBN/EAN: 9780688149932. Inventory No: ABE521050583. Read more Show Less

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Brand new. 1st printing. In very good DJ. Book is very near perfect. Quantity Available: 1. Category: Humor; Biography & Autobiography. ISBN: 0688149936. ISBN/EAN: 9780688149932. ... Inventory No: ABE521050583. Read more Show Less

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The Leno Wit: His Life and Humor

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Overview

The Leno Wit tells Jay Leno's fascinating life story, capturing the laugh-out-loud humor that has millions of viewers tuning in every night to watch The Tonight Show. In this candid look at Leno's life and career, Jay Walker reveals how America's favorite late-night talk show host rose from wise-cracking New England schoolboy to nationally known stand-up comedian, eventually beating out David Letterman to gain the Tonight Show throne. Leno's life story is here, from his days as a class clown to his rough early years performing at strip clubs to his mainstream success in the eighties. Walker portrays a man who is driven by his love of comedy, who stays up late every night before his next show, fine-tuning jokes and reworking the wording until it is perfect. But there is also a family-man side to Leno, which comes out in touching anecdotes about the courtship of his wife, Mavis, his devotion to his late parents, and his love of classic cars and motorcycles. Walker details all of the behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing that went on during the notorious Leno/Letterman battle to be host of The Tonight Show that is now part of showbiz legend. Even as host of The Tonight Show, Leno has remained, remarkably, just a regular guy who has avoided the glitz and glamour of the fast lane and rarely has an unkind word to say about anyone. The Leno Wit captures this warm-hearted spirit and beguiling wit, which has catapulted Leno to the top of the comedy game and made him an adored entertainer.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This readable if derivative look at Tonight Show host Jay Leno comes on the heels of Leno's own Leading with My Chin and Bill Carter's The Late Shift. Thus, the former book is a better compilation of Leno's anecdotes while the latter is a more comprehensive account of Leno's duel with David Letterman. Walker seems to have scavenged any published interview with or story about Leno to lightly tell the tale of the comic's rise in show business and the struggle for late-night talk-show supremacy. Thus Walker can report on Leno's nice-guy personality and lack of emotion without delving into the comedian's particular psychology. Nor does he critique Leno's proclamation that he does not wield political humor to change his audience's views. But freelance writer Walker does include a generous helping of Leno's jokes and the comedian's theorizing about them, making this book an entertaining exercise for fans who must have even one more Leno book. (Feb.)
Kirkus Reviews
A mash note to the current king of the late-night talk shows.

For almost five years now, Jay Leno has hosted the Tonight Show, one of American entertainment's great institutions. To get there, he served a hard apprenticeship on the comedy club circuit, touring ceaselessly, playing almost any club that asked. He also worked endlessly at his craft, perfecting his timing, honing his jokes. But despite paying his dues and his growing national visibility, Leno found that succeeding Johnny Carson was an unexpectedly difficult challenge. Critics thought Leno's version of the show was stiff, awkward, and unfocused. And audiences seemed to agree: Ratings sank, and David Letterman was very publicly considered as a replacement. Leno eventually won this battle, and Letterman moved to his own rival show, on which he trounced Leno regularly. Then Leno revamped the show, beginning a long battle back to ratings dominance. These maneuvers and campaigns were recently and expertly covered by Bill Carter in his thorough and entertaining book The Late Shift (not reviewed). Apart from a strong pro-Leno slant, New Yorkbased Walker rarely offers more than a rehash of Carter's work, as well as the sort of broad details and shopworn anecdotes that seem gleaned from celeb interviews in glossy mags. Walker does offer extensive examples of Leno's observational and topical humor. (Leno explained his brand of humor by saying, "I just travel the country and identify the absurd.") He also details in some depth Leno's comic process, how he builds and structures his jokes, always seeking "to get to the punchline as quickly as possible." Walker, unfortunately, does not share his subject's unerring concision. He is given to frequent repetitions, tangled syntax, and much belaboring of the obvious.

This is more a silhouette than a full-fledged biographical portrait, and no competition for Leno's own current bestseller.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688149932
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/6/1997
  • Pages: 257
  • Product dimensions: 5.79 (w) x 8.53 (h) x 0.97 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2014

    ~ Jayclan Medicine Den ~

    - Rosepetal

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2000

    Leno popularity boosts due to his wit

    The Leno Wit, details Jay Leno's career, along with many other things. From the departure of his manager, to him taking the reigns of the Tonight Show. The book is sensational and should be read by any comedian or Jay Leno fan

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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