Move over, Cal Ripkin, Jr. Fellow Boomer Jay Leno, 59, has surpassed you as “The Iron Man” of celebrities. While Ripkin had 15 consecutive years without an absence, Leno's recent illness caused him to miss his first day of work in 17 years!
NBC must give out great attendance incentive awards; Leno's reported bout of dehydration made him just miss having a perfect record for his tenure since 1992 at The Tonight Show (if you don't count a day he traded jobs with Katie Couric).
Known in “the business” for his strong work ethic, Leno shares Ripkin's “sense of responsibility … for showing up every day.”
A self-described car nut, Leno has recently been giving free performances, dubbed “Jay's Comedy Stimulus Plans,” on weekends to out-of-work autoworkers in Michigan .
Since Jay is not retiring, but starting a new weeknight show at 10 p.m. on NBC, he has the chance to begin a new “Streak”--hopefully for more than 17 years.