Host Jay Leno introduced today more of the correspondents that will be helping to provide the laughs in his new primetime comedy “The Jay Leno Show” (Monday-Friday, 10-11 p.m. ET). “Tonight Show” alum Ross Mathews returns to the job joined by comedians Liz Feldman, Brian Unger, Nick Thune, Owen Benjamin, Marina Franklin and Sebastian Maniscalco.
The troupe will join previously announced comedians D.L. Hughley, Mikey Day, Rachael Harris, Jim Norton, Dan Finnerty and The Dan Band as Leno’s men and women on the street.
Feldman started performing stand-up comedy at 16, much to the dismay of her parents, whom most of her jokes were about. At 18, she landed a job as a writer/performer on Nickelodeon’s “All That.” She has since contributed to NPR, Esquire and Los Angeles Magazine, and she’s been a commentator on VH1, Bravo and E!. Feldman has written for “Blue Collar TV,” “The 79th Annual Academy Awards” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” for which she won four Emmy awards. Her signature awkward style can now be seen regularly on funnyordie.com’s “Shack Talk,” the talk show she hosts from a shack.
National Public Radio (NPR) listeners have heard Unger’s commentary regularly on “All Things Considered” and “Day to Day.” Once named one of Entertainment Weekly’s “100 Most Creative People in Entertainment” the comedian, writer and producer was an original correspondent on “The Daily Show” and now will provide regular pieces for “The Jay Leno Show.” Unger has also served as guest host on MSNBC’S “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.”
Thune performed his comedy on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and according to his website, “On both occasions, he won.” Nick also has a half hour special on comedy central and a series online at nicksbigshow.com. Thune can be seen in the upcoming Mike Judge movie “Extract” and the independent film “Highway 61” opposite Tobin Bell. Thune’s other film credits include “Spring Breakdown,” “Unaccompanied Minors” and Judd Apatow’s hit comedy “Knocked Up.” In 2008, Thune starred in his own “Comedy Central Presents” special. With the success of the special Comedy Central paid Thune to make iThunes, a series of short films for the World Wide Web. He also signed a deal to do a comedy album with Comedy Central Records. The album is due to drop in January.
Benjamin’s feature credits include “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” and “The House Bunny,” and he soon can be seen in the upcoming “All’s Faire in Love” and “Born to Be a Star.” The musically inclined comedian has also appeared on MTV’s “Punk’d,” “Chelsea Lately” and Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham.”
Comedian Franklin has appeared on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” Oxygen’s “Girls Behaving Badly,” “Chappelle’s Show,” Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend” and “Showtime at the Apollo.” She is also a popular headliner at comedy festivals around the world.
Well known for his outrageous facial expressions and hilarious insight into daily human behavior, Sebastian Maniscalco is one of America’s most sought after comedians. He starred in “Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show” and most recently his own one hour special for Comedy Central. Sebastian has performed on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Comics Unleashed,” “Premium Blend”, and Showtime’s “Comics without Borders” amongst others. He performs all around North America, recently returned from a USO Tour in Asia.
Mathews was a regular correspondent on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” since 2001. Originally an intern with the show, Mathews became an official correspondent and was sent on assignment covering everything from the Academy Awards, the Winter Olympics, red carpet premieres and high profile events. He also wrote a blog and hosted a web show with John Melendez for NBC.com. Mathews also has appeared on “Days of our Lives,” “Battle of the NBC Stars,” “The View,” “Celebrity Fit Club”, “The Insider”, “Chelsea Lately” and several other NBC shows.
“The Jay Leno Show” is the first network entertainment program to be stripped across primetime, marking a new era in television. The show will feature topical humor, newsmakers, celebrity guests, correspondents and more comedy in the 10 o’clock hour, including Headlines and Jaywalking.
“The Jay Leno Show” is from Big Dog Productions in association with Universal Media Studios. Debbie Vickers is the executive producer.