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Jay Leno to Do Free Show for Detroit’s Unemployed

March 10, 2009 1:20 PM

Jay Leno is offering unemployed residents of Detroit a chance to laugh away their troubles—for free.

The outgoing host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” announced Monday that he has agreed to perform a free standup gig at Detroit’s Palace of Auburn Hills. The Detroit Pistons have donated the use of their arena, while Pepsi has agreed to underwrite the cost of staging the event.

“I’m watching our president and he’s saying what we should do to help. We got this bad economy thing and well, I tell jokes … so how can I help out?” Mr. Leno said during Monday’s broadcast. “So I was thinking, an awful lot of people unemployed, out of work, don’t have any entertainment dollars. … Well, one of my favorite places is Detroit, and there are so many out-of-work autoworkers. People work hard their whole lives, they’re saving their money, and so I thought, why don’t I go to Detroit and do (my comedy) show?”

Mr. Leno has even arranged to have parking fees at the Palace waived for the night of his show. Tickets will be handed out (four per person) at the Palace starting March 16. Photo ID will be required, though not proof of unemployment.

Despite his busy “Tonight Show” schedule, Mr. Leno has never given up his first gig as a standup. He regularly plays dates across the country, including Las Vegas.

—Josef Adalian


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Comments (1)


Who will underwrite transportation to Auburn Hills? The unemployed of Pontiac may be able to attend by bus . . .

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