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Fourth laughs

As if hosting NBC's "Tonight Show" isn't enough, Jay Leno is taking his act on the road -- at least for a night or two -- when he visits the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort next week. Fourth of July fireworks won't just be erupting over the scenic Falls, but also in the casino's Avalon Theatre, where Leno will perform a couple of nights of stand-up to already sold-out audiences.

The comedian has come a long way from the days of working countless nightclub shows and hosting small talent competitions. In May he celebrated his 15th season of hosting "The Tonight Show," a gig he landed after beating out David Letterman in a bid to replace Johnny Carson. Leno recently announced his retirement as of 2009, when fellow NBC funnyman Conan O'Brien is set to fill his seat.

Known for his philanthropic ventures and his passion for motorcycles and classic cars, Leno recently donated a signed Harley Davidson to a fundraiser for Buffalo Police officer Patricia Parete, who was shot and severly injured in the line of duty.

Leno's shows in the Avalon Theatre take place at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

-- Molly Hirschbeck

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