Jay Leno on What Makes His ‘Garage’ Celebrity Interviews Different


Whether he’s showcasing iconic rides or today’s four-wheeled innovations, Tonight Show vet Jay Leno’s enthusiasm for all things auto shines through in his Emmy-winning series Jay Leno’s Garage.

Now entering his fifth season, Leno attributes the show’s extended mileage to its format, particularly his celebrity interviews. “When you’re driving, people are looser. They forget the cameras are on,” he says. “They realize I’m not interested in their cocaine bust or their divorce, just the car they drove as a kid.”

Below, he spills what’s ahead on Jay Leno’s Garage.

On Wednesday’s premiere, you and comedian Kevin Hart (above left, with Leno) try out a Sherp, an off-roading ATV. Was that a first for you?

Jay Leno: Yeah. It’s not something you could drive on the street — you wouldn’t get very far. You can almost climb the side of a building with it. It’s hilarious.

What other guests stop by this season?

Martha Stewart. We drove in her ’58 Edsel. She lives in Edsel Ford’s old house, and she talked about that and drove like a teenager with her parents’ car. Billy Joel — he’s just a guy from New York.

In the premiere, you also drive an armored car in a high-speed chase with bullets!

That was fascinating. These war veterans make an extremely light armored car, using modern materials. They chased me and yeah, it was pretty fun.


How often are you in your garage now?

I’m here every day. When you work with your hands, it really gives you an appreciation for, not how easy show business is, but how easy show business is. Once you take a transmission out and your hands are all bloody and greasy and you think, “A guy probably made $80 doing that” — it puts things in perspective.

Jay Leno’s Garage, Season Premiere, Wednesday, August 28, 10/9c, CNBC