Jay Leno: Hard Work and Success in the Comedy Industry Essays

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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
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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 setback in achieving his goal, Jay was not discouraged. Leno continued to go on to Emerson College in Boston, where he graduated with a degree in speech therapy in 1973. After graduating college, Jay set off on his journey to find a job in the comedy industry. Jay quickly realized the tough competition and the fact that work was not always available.

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