"I've been running four miles every day," says the TV host, whose show hits primetime in the fall

By Pamela Warrick
Updated August 06, 2009 06:00 PM
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

There will be less of Jay Leno to love when his primetime comedy show debuts this fall.

Since his hospitalization for exhaustion in April and his emotional goodbye to The Tonight Show in May, the 59-year-old funnyman says he has dropped 12 lbs. with a new fitness regimen.

“I’ve been working out and I’ve been running four miles every day,” Leno said Wednesday at NBC’s Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif. “Doing The Tonight Show, I got into a bit of a rut. I got complacent. Now I’m running and working out. I’ve lost about 12 lbs. already and want to drop a few more.”

Leno’s new physique is part of a whole new look. His hair is longer, fluffier, more silver – even that black patch in the middle of his forehead seems to have faded – and he’s tanned, buff and hardly shy. Minutes after taking the stage of the Television Critics Association bi-annual event, Leno stood up, opened the jacket of his trim dark suit and showed off his slimmed-down midsection.