Mavis once said in an interview in The Los Angeles Times, "I do not think it's an accident that comedians have the longest marriages in show business ... Don Rickles, Bob Newhart, Bob Hope. You could go on and on. [That's] a huge advantage. Being funny is just the best way to get through life in a relationship."
Jay Leno was born in 1950 and began performing comedy routines as well as taking on small roles in television in the 1970s. His big break in comedy was an appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1977. Since then he has consistently been a top ratings performer and moved on to hosting talk shows, taking over the Tonight Show from Johnny Carson. In spite of a lot of negative comments and publicity over the back and forth changes by NBC of the show's hosting, he kept his attitude cool and dignified. When Jay Leno was inducted into the Comedy Hall of Fame, Bill Maher commented on Jay's role in the Late Night fiasco, comparing his position to that of Israel " “He’s not perfect, but he’s held to a standard that no one else in the world is expected to live up to other than him.”
Mavis Nicholson was born in 1946, and has been a well known feminist and philanthropist working within non-profit organizations. She is the chair of the Feminist Majority Foundation, a group trying to raise gender equality, concerned mainly with the plight of women under the Taliban in Afghanistan.. Both Mavis and Jay have donated generously to this cause.
Jay first saw Mavis in the audience at one of his comedy appearances. It was 1976 in the Comedy Store in Los Angeles. : "And assuming, sooner or later, most women have to go to the bathroom, as soon as I got off stage I ran and just stood by the ladies room until eventually she came by ... I mean, as soon as I saw her, I kind of figured, well, this looks good, she'll stay in line. But she denies the fact that I told my friend three days after we met, "Well, I'm probably going to marry that girl."
Mavis felt an instant attraction as well "The chemistry was instantaneous. I thought he was absolutely gorgeous." However it took four years of seeing each other before she agreed to marry him. Mavis had expressed very firmly her opposition to the idea of ever getting married. It seems persistence from Jay won out in the end.
Jay and Mavis married in 1980 on November 3, the date of Jay's parents' marriage. The gesture was a tribute to them and the long success of their marriage.
Mavis once gave her view on best route to a happy marriage " The whole thing is simple: Pick the right person, be the right person."