Jay Leno changed the name of 'The Tonight Show' for his mom's sake

Jay Leno hosted "The Tonight Show" from 1992 to 2014
Kevin Winter | Getty Images

According to the former host of NBC's "The Tonight Show," the official name of the show wasn't always "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

"It was supposed to be 'The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno,'" the comedian tells CNBC.

However, when Leno told his mom about the great gig he had landed, she gave him a hard time for the connotation that came with the word "starring."

Why Jay Leno never touched his 'Tonight Show' money

"My mother's from Scotland, so you try not to blow your horn too much," recalls Leno. "When I told her I got the Tonight Show, she goes, 'Oh, starring Jay Leno. OK, Mr. Bigshot.'"

"So I said, 'OK, Mom, I'm going to change it.' And for my mom's sake, I made it 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,' so I didn't look like a showboat."

The self-made millionaire and current host of CNBC's "Jay Leno's Garage" has never let his massive success get to his head or change his core beliefs.

"I'm a huge believer in low self-esteem. If you don't think you're the smartest person in the room, you'll probably listen better," Leno says. "Never think you're better, or for any reason, smarter. Just keep working and plugging away."

CNBC's "Jay Leno's Garage" airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET.

Don't miss the advice Jay Leno would give his 20-year-old self.

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