Kirkland Blog > Posts > Millikin University welcomes Tonight Show host Jay Leno for biannual Goodheart event
Press Release - Millikin University

Millikin University’s Kirkland Fine Arts Center is pleased to welcome Tonight Show host Jay Leno for its biannual Goodheart event on Saturday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m. 

Jay Leno follows in the footsteps of legendary NBC late-night hosts Steve Allen, Jack Paar and Johnny Carson and is the host of the Emmy Award-winning and top-rated “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Leno has created his own unique late-night style with a combination of humor, talk and entertainment each night at 11:35 p.m. ET - the wee hours when viewers want to wind down with a few laughs before drifting off to dreamland.

Leno’s “everyman” style and personality have helped him earn millions of fans worldwide, but primarily in the regions where people can relate to his personable style and work ethic.  He has been touted as one of the nicest people in show business and the hardest-working -- a winning tandem for the man who says “Anyone can have a life - careers are hard to come by!”

In addition to the 13-year milestone, “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” has experienced numerous highlights during its reign, including winning two Emmy Awards - the first in 1995 for Outstanding Comedy, Variety or Music Series, and the second in 1996 for Outstanding Technical Direction.  In 1999 and 2000, “The Tonight Show” took home the trophy for Favorite Late Night Show in the annual TV Guide Awards determined by voting viewers.   Leno’s personal highlights include receiving a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and being the first person to drive the pace car of all major NASCAR events.

Prior to becoming host of “Tonight,” Leno had been the exclusive guest host on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” since September 1987.  He first appeared as a guest on the show March 2, 1977, and he made numerous additional appearances on “Tonight” as well as NBC’s former program “Late Night with David Letterman.”

One of the country’s premier comedians, Leno has appeared in hundreds of comedy shows around the United States for the past 20 years.  In 2001, he traveled to Bosnia, where he performed for military troops associated with the war in Afghanistan.  Leno also traveled to Aviano, Italy in 1995 to entertain military troops associated with the peacekeeping efforts in Bosnia.  He remains passionate about performing in front of live audiences and appears regularly in Las Vegas, on college campuses around the United States and in other venues.

Leno’s children’s book “If Roast Beef Could Fly” (from Simon & Schuster) hit bookstores in April 2004 and immediately became a New York Times Bestseller. His other book, “Leading with My Chin” (from HarperCollins), hit the bookstores in 1998.  He also has published four versions of “Headlines,” the compilation of books and desk calendars featuring his favorite funny newspaper headlines, and “Police Blotter,” a book with more humorous newspaper clips involving police stories (book proceeds go to various charities).

Leno was born in New Rochelle, New York, and raised in Andover, Massachusetts.  He and his wife, Mavis, live in Los Angeles.  In his spare time, he enjoys working on his collection of classic cars and motorcycles.

Support for the Goodheart event comes from a 1997 gift from Peggy Madden and her late husband Bill, both emeritus trustees, in memory of Peggy’s father, the late William R. Goodheart. Mr. Goodheart founded the Music Corporation of America in the late 1920s and headed their New York City offices for nearly twenty years. During his career, he discovered and promoted some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry. The Goodheart events periodically bring popular performers with wide current appeal to the Millikin University campus. Former performers include Howie Mandel, Tap Dogs, Bill Cosby, STOMP, David Spade, Wayne Brady, and Mo’Nique.  

Tickets are $25 and go on sale to the general public on Monday, March 21 and can be purchased through the Kirkland Fine Arts Center Box Office, by phone at 217.424.6318 or online at  Box Office hours are Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday from 10 am to 5 pm.  A $2.50 fee will be charged for credit card purchases. This is a per transaction fee, not per ticket, and applies to online and Box Office orders.

Events at Kirkland Fine Arts Center are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.


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