Sunday, April 28, 2024

Today in Comics History, April 28: Happy birthday, Jay Leno!

Born on this day: Jay Leno, talk show host, comedian, car and motorcycle collector, big chin wearer, and Tonight Show taker-backer. Happy birthday despite that, Jay!

from The Ultimates 2 (2005 series) #4 (Marvel/Ultimate, March 2005), script by Mark Millar, pencils by Bryan Hitch, inks by Paul Neary, colors by Laura Martin, letters by Chris Eliopoulos

Here, showing how hip and up-to-date Jay Leno is, he performs at a charity event with comic book superstar Malcolm Forbes. Yes, '90s kids loved the Malcolm Forbes!

from Amazing Spider-Man (1963 series) #332 (Marvel, May 1990), script by David Michelinie, pencils by Erik Larsen, inks by pick one of more of these guys, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Rick Parker

Even Daredevil looks in the general direction of and listens to Jay Leno! Now wait, you guys, only Fred Hembeck is allowed to poke fun at Brother Voodoo!

from Daredevil (1964 series) #311 (December 1992), script by Glenn Herdling, pencils by Scott McDaniel, inks by Bud La Rosa

Yes, Jay Leno's Tonight Show, which would discuss the vital issues of the day as they affected the Marvel Universe. Also, there were the dancing Judge Itos.

from Generation M #4 (Marvel, April 2006), script by Paul Jenkins, pencils by Ramon Bachs, inks by John Lucas, colors by Art Lyon, letters by Joe Caramagna

Hey Leno, Letterman didn't make fun of Hawkeye! That's why he was able to book him on his show, and you couldn't.

from Thunderbolts (1997 series) #26 (May 1999), script by Kurt Busiek, pencils by Mark Bagley, inks by Scott Hanna, colors by Joe Rosas, colors by Joe Rosas, letters by Saida Temofonte and Richard Starkings

But most of all, you probably remember the Jay Leno of the Marvel Universe from a 2002 adventure that teamed him up with Spider-Man. This story was serialized across several months and stuck into Marvel Comics as a special free "bonus" for you. Not unlike that U2 album.

from "Jay Leno and Spider-Man: One Night Only!" (Marvel, 2002), script by Ron Zimmerman, pencils by Greg Capullo, inks by Danny Miki, colors by Dan Kemp; letters by Richard Starking

Imagine getting this stapled into your comics randomly throughout 2002! Wasn't America working through its grief enough already?

The story ends with Leno invited Spidey onto his show, but Peter gets stage fright. Hey, Jay, Peter Parker was on Carson that one time and did fine, and Spider-Man hosted The Tonight Show; no makin' jokes about him.

A too-soon sequel to this story once again teams Leno and Spider-Man for a bachelor auction charity.

from Spider-Man: Sweet Charity (Marvel, August 2002), script by Ron Zimmerman, pencils by Darick Robertson, inks by Rodney Ramos and Darick Robertson, colors by Avalon Studios, letters by Richard Starkings and Wes Abbott

I've gotta hand it* to scripter Zimmerman for writing dialogue showing JUST HOW CLUELESS Leno can be when he encourages his musical director Kevin Eubanks (a Black man) to get auctioned off. GEEZ JAY NO

* I?

My opinion: whenever Leno gets that obnoxious, do what Special Guest Villain the Scorpion does: just turn off the TV!

Man, Leno, I hope you know what time it is. It begins with clobber and ends in ing.

from Fantastic Four Unlimited #7 (Marvel, September 1994), script by Roy Thomas, pencils by Herb Trimpe, inks by Carmine Imperato, colors by Nel Yomtov, letters by Clem Robins (?)

So anyway, we've had a little bit of fun at your expense, Jay, but happy birthday anyway. Now go apologize to Conan.

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