The former Tonight Show anchor encountered two distinct events in late 2022. Jay Leno has had a difficult few months as a result of not one, but two catastrophic occurrences that left him with numerous injuries all over his body.
The 73-year-old musician was working on a vintage car in his Los Angeles garage when a terrible car fire damaged him. He later spent nine days at West Hills Hospital’s Grossman Burn Center.
He consequently sustained severe second- and third-degree burns. He was harmed while riding a motorcycle a little over a month later, on January 27, breaking his collarbone and two ribs.
The comic, who currently hosts Jay Leno’s Garage and the NBC game show You Bet Your Life, has no intention of stopping anytime soon despite the string of disasters.
Leno spoke candidly to Page Six at the Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge premiere about his retirement plans—spoiler alert: he doesn’t have any—and what it would take to step away from the spotlight.
The seasoned late-night anchor adamantly stated, “Unless I have a stroke,” he has no plans to retire. He continued, “Then you slow down.”Insisting that he wouldn’t quit until his health forced him to, he said, “That’s when you retire when you have your stroke.”
Leno handled each of his recent crashes admirably.
Despite a nine-day hospital stay that included multiple grafting surgeries, he immediately returned to driving and even made it to the accident site.He returned to the stage less than a week later at the Comedy Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, California, to a sold-out audience and standing ovations.
In an interview with People a month after the incident, the former late-night presenter spoke about his car fire catastrophe, saying: “When you work with cars, you have a lot of accidents,” but adding: “But this is greater than most.
He admitted: “I knew how close I was to the pilot light, and I thought, ‘Uh oh.’” He described getting a “full face of gasoline” when repairing a clogged fuel line in the undercarriage of a 1907 White Steam Car.
He remarked, “Maybe like the most intense sunburn you’ve ever had, that’d be fair to say,” that it “felt exactly like my face was on fire.”
While in the hospital, he underwent two skin grafting procedures to help regenerate better new skin and sessions in hyperbaric chambers to aid in oxygenating tissue. He didn’t want to take pills during this period because they were “a reminder that I’m an idiot,” so they were a diversion.
His family and notable friends also generously demonstrated their support for him.
His 43-year-old wife Mavis informed him that Russell Crowe called from Australia, Tom Selleck sent flowers, and John Travolta delivered him a large Italian basket when he was recovering at the burn center.
It was incredibly emotional to feel that love after working in this field for so long.