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Jay Leno and Mavis Leno. | Source: Getty Images
Jay Leno and Mavis Leno. | Source: Getty Images

Jay Leno & Wife Celebrate 42nd Anniversary — They Met at a Comedy Club & Still Have Electricity between Them

Vanessa Seifert
Nov 23, 2022
05:00 P.M.
  • Jay Leno met his wife, Mavis, while he was performing at a comedy club.

  • Their relationship evolved from their frequent comedy club visits, and they lived "Happily Ever Laughter."

  • Leno and Mavis celebrated their 42 anniversary while Leno recovered from a burn accident.

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Comedian and television host Jay Leno and his philanthropist wife, Mavis, have been said to share a love that is rare and after 42 years, it keeps getting stronger.

The couple had an exclusive interview with the LA Times and spoke about the beginnings of their relationship and how they have kept their marriage thriving for over four decades.

Jay Leno and Mavis Leno in Beverly Hills in 2005. | Source: Getty Images

Jay Leno and Mavis Leno in Beverly Hills in 2005. | Source: Getty Images

Mavis visited a comedy club to get inspiration for a comedy she was writing. Her friends convinced her to visit the club for their improv nights so she could socialize and find people to potentially work with.

On the first night Mavis went, she and her friends were given front-row seats, and the comedian performing was Jay. When he finished his act, Mavis went to the restroom, where they were finally able to have a conversation; surprisingly, the comedian noticed Mavis and said, "Are you that girl from the front?

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Jay revealed a weird thing that has been common with every woman he has been attracted to; all of them are born on September 5.

Jay and Mavis Leno at the Emmy Awards in 1986. | Source: Getty Images

Jay and Mavis Leno at the Emmy Awards in 1986. | Source: Getty Images

So, the first thing he asked Mavis after confirming that she was the girl in the front row was when her birthday was, and she confirmed it was September 5.

After their first encounter, Mavis started visiting the comedy club more, and their relationship kept evolving. Mavis knew she did not want to get married, so despite things getting serious with Jay, she knew she had nothing to lose.

On the other hand, Jay realized how much Mavis' family struggled financially, and the more he worked, the more he worried about his partner's future.

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Jay Leno and Mavis in New York 1981. | Source: Getty Images

Jay Leno and Mavis in New York 1981. | Source: Getty Images

The comedian said he had a good insurance policy, and it came to his attention that Mavis could only benefit from it if they were married, so he started to consider taking the next step.

Mavis also started to change her mind about marriage; she explained that she was 34 years old and had been a feminist for a while but realized that she had nothing to fight for anymore.

Jay Leno and Mavis in California in 2000. | Source: Getty Images

Jay Leno and Mavis in California in 2000. | Source: Getty Images

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Additionally, there was something different about what she shared with Jay. Mavis said she had always thought of herself as a "voyager" sailing from one island to another, but that peace she was seeking was what she had with Jay.

Why Jay and Mavis Leno Decided Not to Have Children

When Jay popped the question, he did not have a ring because he had just bought a house, and Mavis said she would never have pressured him to have one after such a big purchase.

Jay Leno and Mavis in Hollywood in 1998. | Source: Getty Images

Jay Leno and Mavis in Hollywood in 1998. | Source: Getty Images

Ten years later, the comedian had his wife's finger in a beautiful diamond ring she showed off during her LA Times interview. The couple had a small intimate wedding held at their friend's house on November 3, 1980, which is a special date because it is the day Jay's parents got married.

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The couple does not have children, and Mavis said she takes full responsibility for this decision. The philanthropist explained that after watching "The Honeymooners" as a child, she did not like how mothers were represented.

Mavis said the husbands were constantly trying to run away from their wives and children, and it felt like women were the ones trapped.

Jay Leno and Mavis in New York in 2015 | Source: Getty Images

Jay Leno and Mavis in New York in 2015 | Source: Getty Images

She said, "I remember telling my mother when I was 7 or 8 that I would never marry or have children. To me, this is the way women get caught."

When Mavis is not spending time with her husband, she leads the Feminist Majority Foundation and is the chair of the campaign to stop gender apartheid in Afghanistan.

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Jay and Mavis Leno in California in 2014. | Source: Getty images

Jay and Mavis Leno in California in 2014. | Source: Getty images

In his early comedy club days, Jay would spend most of his days in the auditorium and usually traveled a lot. Then he moved on to the demanding schedule of hosting "The Tonight Show."

Jay Survived a Serious Burn Accident

Mavis and Jay's relationship is still electrocuted with chemistry after 42 years of marriage, but the couple could not celebrate their anniversary because of a recent burn accident Jay suffered.

Jay has turned to his passion for cars, but on November 12, 2022, the comedian was underneath a car fixing the steam engine when a fire broke out.

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He suffered severe burns on his face, chest, and hands and had to undergo surgery that removed the destroyed tissue and replaced it with biological skin substitutes to speed up healing, explained Jay's doctor.

Mavis has been worried about her husband's recovery, but his doctor said he was a delightful patient, passing out cookies to children and telling jokes.

The doctors also added that he was friendly to the nursing staff and appreciated everyone working hard to make him feel better again.

Jay also released a statement and told his fans that he suffered significant burns but assured everyone he was fine and would only need a week or two to get back on his feet.

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