Jay Leno, the embattled host of The Tonight Show who recently took $15 million pay cut, once thought of himself as an actor. After spending several years on the stand-up comedy circuit, the funnyman decided to answer Hollywood’s call. The end result: Director Lewis Teague’s 1989 buddy cop flick Collision Course, a film that would sit on a shelf somewhere in California for three long years before finally seeing the proverbial light of day.
Although Collision Course is relatively unknown outside of those who spend quite a bit of time with obscure cinema, it occasionally pops up whenever Leno-related news comes about. Presently, it’s the only film that features the Tonight Show host in a lead role. Given Leno’s troubles as of late, chances are this fact isn’t going to change anytime soon.
The folks at Internet Movie Database describe the movie as follows:
“Tony Costas, a brash, obnoxious, sexist and racist Detroit cop who has long since stopped following the rules, gets told that he will have to work with Inspector Fuji, a straightlaced policeman from Japan. Fuji is in Detroit searching for a Japanese engineer who has gone to America with plans for a top secret car part. The pair naturally fail to get along at first, but as the investigation continues, they almost begin to come close to tolerating each other’s presence.”
Although the film was filmed in 1986, Collision Course wouldn’t be released until 1989. Once it was available to the masses, the flick floundered on video before becoming a staple on cable during the late 80s/early 90s.
During one of Pat Morita’s appearances on The Tonight Show, the actors revealed the film’s storied past. Not only was the film delayed several years before its release, the production apparently ran out of money long before everything was in the can. According to the actors, several key scenes in the film never made it before the camera.
For his role in Collision Course, Xfinity currently lists Jay Leno as cinema’s worst action star in history. To make matters worse for the stand-up comedian, his contribution to World Championship Wrestling is considered to be the least-purchased wrestling pay-per-view event of all time.
Have you seen Jay Leno’s Collision Course?