Jay Leno proved once again he is one of the reigning “Kings of Comedy” by selling out the Lucy Fest comedy venue he is scheduled to occupy on August 9. Tickets for Leno’s event went on sale April 18, and three weeks later, the show has been sold out. The former Tonight Show host, who stepped down in February 2014 after more than 20 years at the helm to usher in new host Jimmy Fallon, has become the fastest sell out headliner in the history of the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival.
In addition to his acclaimed reign as TV late-night show host, Leno is also a much-esteemed stand-up comedian, best-selling children’s book author, an in-demand corporate speaker, a TV and movie voice-over artist, pioneering car builder and mechanic, as well as a philanthropist. Is it any wonder that Leno is widely regarded as “the hardest working man in show business?”
It was in May of 1992 when Leno followed in the footsteps of legendary NBC late-night host Johnny Carson as the Tonight Show host. Pitted against rival David Letterman in the 11:35 PM hour, Leno became the ratings leader of late night within two years and never looked back. He established firm leadership in all demographic categories, a winning streak which exceeded 50 consecutive quarters. Before ascending to the hosting gig that made him a household name, Leno had been the exclusive guest host on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson since September 1987. He first appeared as a guest comic on the show March 2, 1977, and subsequently made numerous additional appearances on the show, as well as NBC’s former program Late Night with David Letterman, which was cancelled following Letterman’s exodus from NBC to CBS after losing the Tonight Show to Leno.
Not only did Jay Leno prove once again he is one of the reigning “Kings of Comedy” by selling out the Lucy Fest comedy venue, the comic is well-known as an indefatigable performer and loves to test his humor on live audiences across the nation. He often performs his stand-up comedy routines at over 100 live appearances in nightclubs, theaters, and stadiums each year. He has been touted as one of the nicest and hardest-working people in show business.
Leno’s “everyman”-style and personality have helped him earn millions of fans worldwide, especially in the regions where people relate to his affable style and work ethic. In addition to traversing the U.S., he has entertained military troops in various countries, including Bosnia and Italy, where he performed for troops associated with the peacekeeping efforts in Bosnia and the war in Afghanistan. He remains passionate about performing in front of live audiences, including the military, has appeared regularly in Las Vegas, as well as on college campuses around the United States and in other venues.
The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, or Lucy Fest as it also commonly known, is named after and serves as a tribute to legendary comedienne Lucille Ball, who was born and raised in the area surrounding Jamestown, NY. Notable past performers at the annual event included Bob Newhart, Ellen DeGeneres, Billy Gardell, Joan Rivers, Lewis Black, as well as many other well-known comics.
Although tickets to the Jay Leno comedy venue on August 9 are already sold out, tickets are still available for over 50 other events that will take place during Lucy Fest, which is an annual event and will run from August 6-10, including performances by featured musical guest and actress Lucie Arnaz, who is the daughter of Lucille Ball and former husband Desi Arnaz. Other attractions will include comedians Tom Cotter, who recently became the first comedian finalist on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, as well as a Stand-Up Comedy Showcase featuring well-known actress and comedienne Caroline Rhea at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts. To learn more about the annual event and/or purchase festival tickets, contact the Lucy-Desi Museum box office at (716)484-0800 or visit online at www.lucycomedyfest.com.
By Leigh Haugh
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