Jay Leno jokes that his face is ‘better than what was there before’ following car fire accident

Jay Leno has made light of his injuries after suffering “serious burns” from a car fire last month.

The Tonight Show hostwas forced to cancel a performance in Las Vegas in November after a vintage car he was working on in his LA garage caught fire.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal on Sunday (11 December), Leno downplayed the severity of the petrol fire that left him needing surgery for burns to his face, chest and hands.

“It was an accident, that’s all,” the 72-year-old comedian said. “Eight days later, I had a brand new face. And it’s better than what was there before.

“Anybody who works with their hands on a regular basis is going to have an accident at some point. If you play football, you get a concussion or a broken leg. Anything you do, there’s a risk factor.”

Leno said that he “had to joked about” the situation, adding: “There’s nothing worse than whiny celebrities. If you joke about it, people laugh along with you.”

The comedian returned to the stage just two weeks after his accident for a sold-out performance at The Comedy and Magic Club in California.

“I never thought of myself as a roast comic,” Leno quipped to reporters as he arrived at the venue. “We have two shows tonight – regular and extra crispy.”

Leno was admitted to a specialist burns hospital, where he was given a skin graft (2017 Invision)
Leno was admitted to a specialist burns hospital, where he was given a skin graft (2017 Invision)

After the accident, Leno was admitted to a specialist burns hospital. He was given a skin graft and discharged 10 days later, having suffered second and third-degree burns to his face, hands and chest that covered seven per cent of his body.

The facility where Leno was treated, Grossman Burn Center, released a photo of Leno with injuries visible to his jawline, neck and hands.

“Jay would like to let everyone know how thankful he is for the care he received, and is very appreciative of all of the well wishes,” a statement from the facility read.

Leno is known for his extensive car collection, which is said to include around 180 cars and 160 motocycles. That is the focus of his TV series, Jay Leno’s Garage, which showcases the comedian’s car collection as he searches for vintage automobiles and the stories behind them.