Everyone knows about Jay Leno passing The Tonight Show baton this past month. http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/tv/jay-lenos-long-goodbye-ready-or-not-its-time-to-move-on/2014/02/05/62454b36-8d19-11e3-95dd-36ff657a4dae_story.html I have great affection for Jay, having seen him doing Standup in Hollywood, when I worked out there thirty years ago. It was the golden age of Comedy Clubs & I scouted out talent at the original Improv. It was there I first enjoyed Jay, along with Jerry Seinfeld, Richard Lewis, Jeff Foxworthy & countless other Comedians who would go on to great careers.
Back in Chicago in the mid 1980’s, I worked hard to convince our Corporate Clients to spend $1500.00 to bring Jerry Seinfeld in for their event. They’d never heard of him & that was a lot of money for a non-name. Later, after the first season of “Seinfeld”, one of those Clients called me & said “You know, I remember you mentioning Jerry Seinfeld. I think we’re ready to book him for our company Gala. I’m looking back on your quote…$1500.00 right?” Comedy is not the only thing that’s all about timing.
It was with great pleasure that we booked Jay Leno for a Corporate Client the first time. Over the years, I have produced Shows with a lot of Stars. Most of them are extremely professional, but a few have been tricky. I would have to say, the one common denominator would be their desire for privacy. We always provide security, to this end. Each time we’ve booked him, Jay has been accommodating to our Client in a Meet & Greet, happy to take pictures with people & to sign autographs. Not only that, but he often disconcerts his Security Guard, by making himself known wherever he goes! We have so many funny stories involving him & Italian Beef stands. Luckily, we always use off duty Chicago Policemen as Security, so they know where the best stands are. Anyway, Jay Leno has always been a delight to work with & does the perfect Corporate Show: funny, clean & fast paced.
Of course, the first element of whether you can have Name Entertainment at your event is: do you have the money! You have to have a range of budget before we can determine who you can afford. Once we know that, we can deal with the next elements. Look for that in my next Blog.