January 1995 is a great time in my life with Suzanne as it marks not only our first real “date”, but our appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

I was traveling out to California to meet Suzanne for the first time.  We were standing in line hoping to get into the show, when two of the writers interviewed us and asked us if we wanted to be in a sketch.

We spent the next 30 minutes in the Green Room waiting for our cue to enter the studio.  Our only instruction was to sit on the steps.  When Jay asked, “why are you two not in a seat,” we were instructed to say, “there were no seats left for us.”  After that, Jay was to make a joke and that would be the end of our TV debut.. or would it?  The Video tells all.

During commercial breaks Jay came over to us in the car and asked, “how are you two doing?”  He made sure we were comfortable and well taken care of.  After the show, he invited us onto the stage for a photo.  We sat in the “star” chairs an Jay said, “Joe, I know your parents live in PA and are on a 3 hour difference.  You probably wont make it home in time to tell them to watch the show.  Would you like to call them?”  Jay then picked up the phone that is kept behind the desk and called my parents to tell them, “your son is on the show tonight, be sure to watch!”

It turns out that our appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno was the first time my family would see my future wife Suzanne. Now Suzanne and I can say our first “date” was on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno an we too are a small part of his legacy 🙂

Other guests that night included Davy Jones of the Monkees, Quentin Tarantino, and some comedian guy I don’t know.

Dr. J.R. Miller is a Professor of Applied Theology and Leadership & Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. Outside work, he is a church planter. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and Leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

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