Oprah: Did you both decide never to have kids?

Jay: Neither of us really wanted kids, so that was fine. We've been able to date a lot because of it.

Oprah: Still?

Jay: Yes. I can say, "Honey, you want to go to Vegas tonight?" If we had kids, it would involve the sitter and this and that. Before I got The Tonight Show, we were on the road together all the time. I'd be onstage for an hour and a half, then we'd go have the rest of the time to ourselves.

Oprah: Would you say your relationship has matured into what I call grown-up love?

Jay: I think so. When I have one of these starlets on my show, I say to myself, "This woman wouldn't have talked to me when I was 22 and better looking. So why would she flirt with me now? There must be some ulterior motive." Yet it's fun to imagine and be flirtatious—I have the kind of job where my wife can turn on the TV and watch me flirt! But that's as far as it goes. That's why it works.

Oprah: Mavis obviously understands that you're a person who's driven.

Jay: Yes, and I support the things she does.

Oprah: Her organization was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Jay: I've always wanted a situation where people would go, "Oh, that's Mr. Mavis." That would make me laugh.

Oprah: It would?

Jay: Yeah. I've done what I want to do, and now it's my turn to help her. It's a matter of priorities, and it makes the marriage better. Remember, if you eat the whole pie, you're going to choke. I love it when she goes to these functions where people think she's just another empty-headed starlet, and afterward they go, "She knows what she's talking about."

Oprah: You're happily married and you have this great career. Would you say you're living the life of your dreams?

Jay: Oh, sure—but I'm always happy with whatever I have. If I can get something else, great. If I lose half of everything tomorrow, fine. That's why I don't buy anything on credit. If everything is over with now, I still have what I have. If everything ended tomorrow, I'd say, "Well, I did okay. That was a good run."


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