Friday, 7 February 2014

My lasting memories of ‘That’ interview with American talk show host Jay Leno.
So Jay Leno has bowed out after 22 years hosting the Tonight Show on ABC, a show that was Johnny Carson's before unexpectedly handing over to Leno. I say unexpectedly as the odds were stacked on David Letterman to take the most coveted talk show seat on American television. Letterman had stood in for Carson on many occasions where Leno was hardly ever present at any stage on the Carson Show. Why he was chosen over Letterman remains a matter of debates and speculations over the years . As you know Letterman went on to great fame and fortune hosting the Late Show for CBS (David Letterman is one of my favourite talk show hosts where as Leno I never really got )
As Jay Leno has now retard I thought I’d tell you a story about my radio interviews with him. Originally and I don’t know how, but I came across a private telephone number into Leno’s office, I tried it and too much of my surprise the MAN himself answered and agreed to an interview! I can’t remember exactly how many times over the years he was a guest on my show but its one specific interview that I’m going to relate to you today. I was broadcasting one of my annual shows from Caesars Palace Las Vegas, I cannot remember exactly who my guests were this particular day except for motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel, he was in Vegas to launch a new Harley Davidson carrying his name in memory of his famous jump through the Caesars Palace Waterfall which almost killed him (see the photo he signed to me off that jump)
My radio show always drew quit a large crowed, even seating was provided, as it was broadcast live from an area open to the main casino. We went into a commercial break when I handed my producer a scrap of paper with Jay Leno’s telephone number and asked him to call him to see if we could go live for an interview. At this point you must realise just how famous Leno is in the Sates so it was no surprise to see the expression on the producers face the sort of expression that say ‘yea sure, you know Jay Leno??? Is this really is his number, who are kidding?’ I went back on air continuing my interview with Knievil when I heard my producer in the background saying, ‘Yes Mr Leno, Certainly Mr Leno, putting you through now Mr Leno’ and signaled me that Jay Leno was ready for the interview. I made my announcement: ‘Ladies and gentleman my next guest is an old friend and I’m delighted to welcome him on my show Mr Jay Leno.’ What follows is one of the most embarrassing ‘put downs’ I’ve ever had and all in front of a large American audience. Jay say “ Welcome Maureece (pronounced the French way as most American insist in doing!) Welcome to my country”. I could see everyone was very impressed. “Maureece may I ask you something?” I replied “Sure Jay, Fire Ahead” He replied without hesitation; “ WHO THE HELL ARE YOU!!!” This was one of those moments when you wanted to curl up and crawl into a hole!! It was only then after a pregnant pause I heard him laugh and all was well...... Bastard!

I wish Jay good luck in his retirement and thank you for being a great sport in the past as a guest on my radio shows.

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