Jay Leno Survives Two Catastrophic Events, Continues Unwavering
For former Tonight Show host Jay Leno, the latter half of 2022 was a trying time since he experienced not one, but two tragic events that left him with numerous wounds.
The 73-year-old comic sustained major body damage when a terrible automobile fire broke out while he was working on a vintage car in his Los Angeles garage. He was later admitted to the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital, where he received treatment for nine days.
Leno suffered serious second- and third-degree burns as a result of the incident. However, just over a month later, on January 27, he had another mishap, adding to his bad luck. He ended up breaking his collarbone and two ribs this time while operating a motorcycle.
Jay Leno, who presently hosts Jay Leno’s Garage and the NBC game program You Bet Your Life, is unfazed and doesn’t appear to be slowing down despite these failures.
Leno spoke candidly about his retirement plans—or rather, the lack of them—in an interview with Page Six at the Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge premiere. He vehemently asserted that retirement was not in his plans, unless a stroke caused him to change his mind. He stressed this by saying, “Then you slow down.” He stated, “That’s when you retire, when you have your stroke,” making it plain that he would only quit when his health required it.
Leno handled each of his recent mishaps with incredible fortitude.
He underwent multiple grafting procedures and spent nine days in the hospital, but he lost no time getting back to what he loved most—driving. He even succeeded in returning to the accident site. He triumphantly took the stage again at the Comedy Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, California, less than a week after the event, receiving a standing ovation from a capacity crowd.
Leno spoke openly about the automobile fire incident in a later interview with People, admitting that mishaps are normal in his line of business. He acknowledged that this episode was more serious than others, though. He came perilously close to the pilot light while replacing a clogged fuel line in the undercarriage of a 1907 White Steam Vehicle. As he recognized the seriousness of the situation, he recounted it clearly, stating, “I knew how near I was to the pilot light, and I thought, ‘Oh oh.'” He had a “whole face of gasoline” from the repair incident, which gave him a severe sunburn-like sensation similar to having his face engulfed in flames.
Leno endured two skin grafting procedures during his hospital stay to encourage the development of fresh, healthier skin. He also underwent hyperbaric oxygen therapy in order to help with tissue oxygenation. Around this time, Leno decided against taking any drugs because they served as a continual reminder of his own stupidity.
Leno had unwavering support from his family and well-known friends during his recuperation.
As he was recovering in the burn center, his wife Mavis, 43, informed him that Tom Selleck had brought flowers, Russell Crowe had written from Australia, and John Travolta had delivered a sizable Italian basket. Leno was overcome with emotion at receiving such love and support after devoted his life to the entertainment business.
Many people are still motivated by Jay Leno’s persistent perseverance and fortitude in the face of difficulty. His admirers eagerly anticipate his upcoming appearances as he continues with his television undertakings and projects, knowing that this irrepressible comic has a long career ahead of him.