Some writers, who probably get paid peanuts, write the scripts. Research assistants with equally bad paychecks do all the funny-material finding and all the scanning tabloids to find out celebrity background dope stuff. Production people do the set, get the coffee-mug and the coffee. The band does the music and the encore. The audience does the laughing- to- the- scripts- written- by- poorly-paid-writers bit. The guests do the answering uncomfortable questions part. The network pays everybody involved.
All Jay Leno has to do is show up and be mean on national television.
I think I could handle that.