Kid's Korner - My Day With Jay Leno

Kady Carson, age 9
From the January/February 1998 Rat & Mouse Gazette

The Tonight Show, with Jay Leno, called and asked if I would like to be on with my pet rats. They wanted kids with unusual collections (not that I really collect rats but I do have a lot), and, you must admit, rats are unusual. Of course, I said yes. When the day finally came, my mom, my sister, Kelli, and I were picked up in a big van so we could bring lots of rats with us, and the playground we have for them. When we arrived at NBC Studios in Burbank, we went to our dressing room, which I shared with another girl who collected hair. The other two kids on the show were boys; one who collected bugs and the other who collected ‘ABC’ (already been chewed) gum.

We had to be tutored on the set by a teacher, were treated to lunch at the commissary, rehearsed for the show, and then more schooling. At rehearsal, I was supposed to have one of the rats kiss me, but, of course, none of them cooperated.

When it was time to tape the show, we went downstairs to the green room to wait. When it was our time to go on, we went on stage, and, of course, the rats still did not cooperate. They just wanted to sleep. Oh well, they looked cute. I had a Hairless rat in a pouch and we talked about him a little. At the end of the show we tried to get my rat to kiss me, but he still would not do it.

After the show, we got our picture taken with Jay Leno. I got to meet the band Hanson, who was there taping a Christmas special. I also got to meet Matt LeBlanc, who plays Joey on the TV show Friends, who was also a guest on the show, and Mathew Perry, who plays Chandler on Friends, who was there with Matt. They gave me their autographs and asked me who my favorite "Friend" was. They were both very nice. Jay Leno was very nice, too. I gave him a T-shirt that said "Love Thy Rodent as Thy Self". He said he would wear it. I had a very fun time and they were very nice to us. All because of my wonderful pet RATS!