Jay Leno living it up post-’Tonight Show’ with fancy cars, protests


American comedian Jay Leno speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Jerusalem, Wednesday, May 21, 2014. Leno made his first trip to Israel, where he will host an award ceremony honoring former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Jay Leno has been off TV for about four months, but his name is back in the news today as he was named the latest recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. That means the former “Tonight Show” host — and a whole group of his famous friends — will appear at the Kennedy Center later this year to toast Leno’s multiple decades in comedy.

In the meantime, what exactly has Leno been up to since his “Tonight Show” reign came to an end in February? He’s not on Instagram so it’s usually a mystery. Still, we looked around, and discovered that he’s pretty much been doing exactly what you would expect a really, really rich guy who has a lot of time on his hand to be doing. And because it’s Leno, he’s also been busy working. The highlights:

* Raced a million dollar Jaguar car through Italy.

* Performed stand-up gigs across the country, from Detroit to Atlantic City.

* Made jokes about President Obama and John Kerry in Israel, where he hosted the Genesis Prize ceremony in Jerusalem that honored former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.

* Joined a protest against the Sultan of Brunei, who owns the Beverly Hills Hotel and has come under fire for enforcing harsh Sharia laws, including stoning people.

* Took a solo trip to the National Museum of American History to check out car displays.

* Collaborated with the Sunday Times in the U.K. to promote Volvo, in which he takes two little kids to school but takes a  spin around the “Top Gear” racetrack first in his 2015 Volvo V60 Polestar.

* Made a surprise appearance on “The Arsenio Hall Show” to tell the comedian that his syndicated talk show has been picked up for a second season. (Presumably, Leno wasn’t around at the announcement three months later that the show was abruptly canceled.)

* Guest-voiced a character — Colonel Contraction — on Disney’s animated show “Phineas and Ferb.”

* Had shows in London, Rome and China.

* Updated his “Jay Leno’s Garage” car-themed YouTube channel

Emily Yahr is an entertainment reporter and pop culture blogger for the Style section. She joined the Post in May 2008, a week before she graduated from the University of Maryland, and worked on Lisa de Moraes' TV Column and blog.
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