Jay Leno’s Special Gift for a Sick Fan Had Fans in Tears

Jay Leno may have stepped down as the long-time celebrity host of the Tonight Show years ago, but he still has a prominent television gig on CNBC called Leno’s garage.

Always a car fan, the show lets Leno talk about his favorite hobby while also showing off an incredible automobile collection. In a recent episode, he used this platform and hobby for good, giving a dying fan the ride of his dream. 

Jay Leno’s career 

Jay Leno on the red carpet
Jay Leno | Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Leno grew up in Massachusetts and went to Emerson College in Boston to major in speech therapy. However, at college, he fell in love with stand-up comedy and began to perform at the local comedy scene.

He made waves, and as his star began to rise in Hollywood, he moved to Los Angeles to further his potential opportunities. In 1977, Leno made his first guest appearance on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. 

Alongside his contemporary, David Letterman, Leno became a staple of Carson’s show. However, as Carson got older, rumors of his impending retirement took over the Hollywood scene. While many believed that Letterman was Carson’s choice to take over the seat, the final decision was made by the network. In the early nineties, Leno got his dream gig, and his feud with Letterman reached its peak. 

For the next 15 years, Leno was the host of the most popular late-night talk show in America. However, after new host Conan O’Brien failed to bring the right ratings, Leno took the show back after an ugly stand-off with his replacement. He stepped down for good in 2014 and gave the show to Jimmy Fallon, who still hosts it today. 

Since then, Leno has been all about cars. 

Leno’s car collection

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If somebody heard that Leno was worth $50-$100 million according to Celebrity Net Worth, they would likely believe it. After all, he was one of the faces of late-night television for nearly two decades. This valuation, however, only affects Leno’s car collection. Always a gearhead, Leno parlayed his earnings from late night into one of the most fabled car collections on the planet. 

Leno owns and operates a 122,000 square-foot garage in Burbank, where he houses all of his cars. Now, hundreds of vehicles take up the large garage, but they aren’t all for show. 

Leno has always loved to show off his cars to the public, but his car collection also serves a financial purpose. While some people look at artwork and stocks for investment, Leno looks at cars. 

Cars can be worth millions of dollars, so when Leno gets a deal, there’s a good chance that it will pay off in the long run. One particular car in his collection got the interest of one fan. Leno appeased this by taking this fan on a ride. 

Leno gives a fan a wish

In 2019, Larry Webb was diagnosed with bile duct cancer, and his prognosis was not looking good. A lifelong fan of Corvettes, Webb wanted to get behind the wheel of the upcoming model before he died.

He loved Corvettes and regularly filled his family’s ears with stories about them. Colby spoke about this obsession and how excited his father was to see the next one. 

“He goes, ‘When is this Corvette going to come out?'” Colby said (per My Sun Coast). “And my wife goes, ‘January of 2020.’ And the look in my dad’s face when it clicked and realized (he) probably is not going to see this release just floored us. It broke my heart.” 

The family got Larry access to the car, but after making his day by bringing it to him, the surprise got bigger. The Webb family got a call from Leno asking if they wanted to visit his garage in Burbank.

The family jumped at the opportunity to tour the renowned car collection and visited in October. Larry even got to ride with Leno in one of the most expensive cars in his group. A tearful Larry thanked Leno for the opportunity.

According to Colby, the trip was everything his father wanted as he went into his final days.  Leno has always connected with his fans, and incidents such as this help highlight that. Regardless of what one thinks of Leno, seeing him do this type of good for someone can pull at even the sharpest cynic’s heartstrings.