If you know Nick Cannon from his work as a TV host, actor, and rapper, you might not realize that he and Jay Leno have a lot in common. They both started out working with cars and in stand-up comedy. The two spent time together talking about these shared passions on Leno’s show, Jay Leno’s Garage, in 2016.
‘Jay Leno’s Garage’
Leno hosts Jay Leno’s Garage, which started as a web series on NBC.com and has run as a weekly series on CNBC since 2015. In each one-hour episode, Leno focuses on an automotive theme and offers history, reviews, challenges, and interviews with different celebrities about cars. As the show’s website says, Leno hits “the road to discover the most exciting, weird and wonderful vehicles ever made and meet the passionate people behind their wheels.”
Jay Leno’s love for cars
Leno was born in 1950 and spent most of his childhood in Andover, Massachusetts. He has talked in the past about always having two jobs. When he first started out, Jay Leno worked at a car dealership and was a comedian on the side.
Leno started hosting The Tonight Show in 1992, but he also continued doing stand-up comedy to be able to save his entire Tonight Show salary. He ended his run in 2009 before hosting again from 2010 to 2014.
Even today, Leno has multiple jobs. In addition to Jay Leno’s Garage, he also continues to do stand-up comedy shows, and he writes about car topics for Popular Mechanics and sometimes reviews sports cars for The Sunday Times.
He told Money.com he first got interested in cars as a kid repairing tractors, lawnmowers, and vehicles in his rural area. He and his friends would also drive an old Renault around in the backyard when he was 11 or 12. Today he has about over 300 cars in his personal collection and is worth about $400 million.
Nick Cannon’s love for cars
Cannon was born in 1980 and grew up in San Diego, California, and North Carolina. His first job, when he was 15 or 16, was at an auto mechanic’s shop. He used his pay for train fare to go do stand-up comedy at The Comedy Store.
In addition to writing, acting, and rapping, Cannon hosted America’s Got Talent from 2009 to 2017. Now he hosts The Masked Singer, which premiered in 2019. In addition, Cannon heads NCredible Entertainment and is expected to start his own syndicated daytime talk show later this year.
Cannon said that, while music is his passion, he probably loves stand-up comedy more. It’s how he started his career, and he expects to end his career as a comic once his other jobs are wrapped up.
Along with his many jobs, Cannon has an exotic car collection and a dealership. For part of their interview, the two went for a ride in Cannon’s 2013 Ferrari California.
Cannon told Leno that he “fell in love with cars working at that car shop as a teenager.” His first car was a VW Bug his boss let him fix up and keep. Later, Cannon said he started what he calls his dealership in 2016 because of his love for cars plus the work he was already doing to help friends with their cars. Cannon is reportedly worth $50 million.
What Jay Leno and Nick Cannon have in common besides cars
Leno and Cannon are different ages and races and come from different backgrounds and locations, but their careers started in similar ways, with a combination of automotive work and stand-up comedy. They share a love of cars and comedy and clearly are both guys who like to be involved in a lot of different projects. As Leno said to Cannon, “I don’t think most successful people think they’ve made it. That’s why they keep going.”