Although Jay hasn't ruled out doing another TV show, the expectation is that he'll enjoy a semi- 'retirement'. The sneer quotes indicate that he'll maintain the same standup schedule, which would be a full-time job for anyone else.
I'm not sure what the implications are for the famed Leno garage and collection. The story's always been that Jay paid for his lifestyle (which, cars and motorcycles excepted is conservative by Hollywood standards) with his comedy money, and that he just banked the TV money. If that's true, the only thing they might notice in the garage is that the boss is around a lot more.
Some time soon, when the man's easier to reach and interview. I'll try to schedule a chat with him about his future plans, the future of the garage and collection, and JayLenosGarage.com.
In the meantime, here's a profile of Jay and the garage, that I wrote a few years ago...
Hollywood Confidential: a day with Jay Leno
When I arrived at Jay Leno's garage, the door was open and there were three bikes parked in a pool of sunlight. A Vincent Comet was missing its fuel tank. Its fuel lines, petcock and carb were in pieces for cleaning; it had sat too long without running. There was also a Ducati 250 single that, although it looked pristine didn't want to start, and a 1931 Henderson four. The Henderson was one of the last ones ever made and was shown at the '31 New York Auto Show. It was a police special, with a tell-tale speedo (the needle moves up but has to be reset manually, a feature the cops used when ticketing speeders.)
“Look,” Jay said, as he pointed to the gauge's needle, “I hit 79 miles an hour on it this morning.”
Yes, he's got two '31 Hendersons. He disappeared into an adjacent building, while one of his mechanics coached me on a few mindbenders I'd need to remember: The left twistgrip was the spark advance; the clutch was operated by my left foot, and that little thing on the left handlebar that looked like a decompression lever was actually for the front brake which, I was warned, was useless. Last but not least, there were two shift levers on the left side of the fuel tank. I mustn't touch the outer one, as it operated the bike in reverse, for sidecar work. “Jay really shouldn't have put that on there, since he doesn't have a sidecar for it,” someone said. I envisioned nudging the wrong lever by accident, locking up the rear wheel, and spending the rest of my life trolling autojumbles for used Henderson parts.
But seriously folks, Jay's a guy who's hosted nearly 4,000 editions of The Tonight Show; last year he did another 160 gigs as one of America's highest-paid comedians. For him, talking is work. I guess that's why he preferred to go for a ride. As one of America's lowest-paid journalists, conducting interviews is work for me, so I prefer riding, too. At least, that's what I told myself as I shook and bounced along the freeway, trying not to remember that earlier that day, Jay'd been doing nearly 80 on this old thing.
Besides that one, most of the high-performance bikes he saw growing up in small-town New England were in magazines. “I was that kid, sitting in the back of math class, with a copy of Cycle World,” he told me. “I was in the eighth grade in 1964, when they put out an issue with a white and gold Triumph Bonneville on the cover, and I thought it was beautiful. A couple of years later, I saw a new Bonneville at a dealer and there was a sticker on the fuel tank that read, 'For Expert Riders Only.' I was 16 and had never actually ridden a bike. So I thought, that's perfect for me.”
Bernard Juchli is the general manager of Jay's garage, so when a bike's pushed too hard, it becomes one of Bernard's projects. “Most of the year, Jay comes in once a day after taping his show, and spends an hour or two with us,” he said. “Jay only rides or drives one vehicle a day, so he doesn't break too much. But during the summer he's here all day, and he'll take out five or six vehicles, so he creates more work for us.”
“The Air Force sold that to me,” he said. It's obviously good to be Jay Leno when you want a favour. He added wryly, “I guess I built that to gain entrance to the More Money Than Brains Club.” He's a little bit embarrassed by the Hollywood star cult's free-food-for-millionaires ethos; he's aware of the irony in the fact that, now that he can afford anything he wants, manufacturers of new bikes often give him machines.
“Riding this thing,” He said as he pulled on a helmet, “sixty miles an hour feels like 200.”