My embarrassing moment as Jay Leno helps open Bergen County PAC in NJ
It was a great night in Englewood as Jay Leno performed at the Grand Opening of the Bergen County Performing Arts Center, Saturday, April 8.
Leno, who hosted "The Tonight Show" from 1992-2014, and made his first appearance on the program as a standup comic in 1977, has been performing his comedy routine around the world since then. An accomplished children's book author, Leno has also hosted "Jay Leno's Garage" from 2014-2022, and a new version of the Groucho Marx classic game show, "You Bet Your Life."
I've always been a huge fan and was really looking forward to talking to him.
So, when I walk into the Grand Opening reception at Benzel Bush Mercedes, Jay was just getting done with a television hit. There's my chance — and I seize it. I walk right up to him with iPhone in hand, identify myself, and ask if I could ask him a few questions. He agrees, and I then proceed to have this great conversation as we walk from one end of the dealership to the other.
Just as it was getting really good, I realized that I must have not hit the record button hard enough; and had nothing on tape. Just to show what a classy guy Leno is, Jay being Jay, agreed to do the whole thing over. I couldn't thank him enough.
Here's our shortened conversation:
What are your favorite Jersey memories?
While I worked just about every club, 'Club Bene', 'The Latin Casino' in Cherry Hill, I mean all these little clubs, every function, room, every Italian social club that had a little kind of stage; it was always very funny. It's just a fun place to sort of learn your trade, you know? "Rascals" and all those kinds of clubs. It was always great because Jersey crowds you know if they like it they laugh if they don't, you know, they let you know so that makes it kind of fun"
How do you feel about late-night television?
Fine! I think everybody does a great job. I'm a big fan of everybody that does it.
The trouble is, now you're always losing half the crowd, you know? There's always somebody mad about something. Just enjoy the joke!
Enjoying the jokes is exactly what we did as Jay crushed the opening like he usually does whenever he performs.
All in all, it was a great night highlighted by PAC singers and dancers as well as Jay Leno capping it off.
To enjoy what else is coming to the Bergen County Performing Arts Center, click here.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
You can now listen to Steve Trevelise — On Demand! Discover more about New Jersey’s personalities and what makes the Garden State interesting. Download the Steve Trevelise show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen right now.
Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.