Jay Leno opened up about his terrifying burn injuries from an oil fire while working on one of his classic cars in a new interview with The Wall Street Journal, published on Sunday, December 11. The comic, 72, seemed unfazed by his recent accident and even had a good sense of humor about the facial surgery he underwent to treat the burns.
While speaking about his surgery and speaking about the recovery process, Jay was a little bit self-deprecating about the reconstruction. “Eight days later, I had a brand new face,” he quipped. “And it’s better than what was there before.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Jay explained that he felt like poking fun and using the accident to make jokes was an important step in recovering, and it helps get the audience on your side. “You have to joke about it,” he explained. “There’s nothing worse than whiny celebrities. If you joke about it, people laugh along with you.”
Ultimately, the former Tonight Show host explained that he was aware of the possibility of an accident from working on classic cars. “But really, it was an accident, that’s all. 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,” he said.
It was revealed that Jay was rushed to Los Angeles’ Grossman Burn Center on November 13, after getting covered in oil, which subsequently caught fire, while fixing a “clogged fuel line,” as he told TMZ. He credited his friend Dave with saving him, by throwing himself on top of him. After getting released from the hospital, he looked as good as new but did have some scarring and burns on his hands and face.
After spending some time in the hospital, Jay made his return to the stage with a show at the Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, California on November 27. Speaking to reporters before the show, he showed that he had been planning some jokes about his mishap, according to TMZ. “No, stay away from the Flamin’ Hot Doritos. They’re what caused all this,” he said, while also making some jokes about it to the crowd. “We got two shows tonight: regular and extra crispy.”
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