The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno

October 11, 2001

Although a variety of daytime and late night talk shows have debuted since the mid-1980s, after nearly 50 years of TV broadcasting, The Tonight Show remains the gauge by which contemporary televised culture is measured.

Taped from Studio 3 at NBC Studios in Burbank, California a newly installed Martin lighting system is adding even more color and fun to America’s classic late night show.

NBC Lighting Designer Gary Thorns uses Martin MAC 2000, 300, 250 and MiniMAC automated lights on several aspects of the Studio 3 stage.

Placed behind Jay’s desk and guest seating area, just in front of a city skyline backdrop, a row of MAC 300 wash lights bathe a line of wooden columns in various color shades and provide color washes on the ceiling and beams above the set. For an added degree of energy, the MAC 300s are set to move quickly, even strobe, at certain points of the show, for example when Jay is away from his desk, or when the audience is applauding.

Above the band area where Kevin Eubanks directs The Tonight Show band, MAC 300 wash lights add color while MAC 250 profile spots lay gobo patterns onto the floor. MiniMAC wash lights are used as truss warmers to uplight the truss pillars behind the band.

In the Live area where guest bands perform, MAC 2000s are placed on the floor projecting hard edged, mid-air, beam effects upwards. MAC 250s are located in the rig above the stage with MiniMAC wash lights uplighting truss pillars surrounding the stage.

Production Lighting Systems (Fourth Phase) supplied all Martin equipment for The Tonight Show. Board operator is Jeff Lloyd and Head Electrician Gilbert Quintanar.In February 2002 The Tonight Show will be shooting for three weeks under a full Martin rig from the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. The rig will consist of 40 MAC 2000s, 30 MAC 500s, 40 MAC 600s and a Case console. Lighting Programmer will be Mark Pranzini.

Originally debuting in 1954, The Tonight Show is an indelible part of American TV folklore.