Jay Leno opens up about burn injuries: ‘I had a brand new face’


Jay Leno is back to joking around, after recovering from the severe burns he sustained in a garage fire in November.

“You have to joke about it,” he wrote in a column for the Wall Street Journal published Sunday. In it, the comedian and former late-night TV host found the humor in the fiery accident that landed him in the hospital, and mused on the future of the auto industry and Elon Musk’s space-forward initiatives.

On Nov. 12, the former “Tonight Show” host and vintage car enthusiast received serious burns to his hands, face and chest while working in his Burbank garage. Local paramedics responded to an emergency medical call at the star’s garage and transported him to an emergency room.

Leno was hospitalized at the Grossman Burn Center in West Hills where he underwent multiple surgeries and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

“Eight days later, I had a brand new face,” he wrote about his reconstructive procedures. “And it’s better than what was there before.”

A man wearing a blue jean shirt and blue jeans stands with a group wearing scrubs and masks in a hallway.

Jay Leno pictured with several employees of the Grossman Burn Center in West Hills.

(Grossman Burn Center )

Leno was released from the hospital on Nov. 21, just before the Thanksgiving holiday. A month out from the incident, Leno said his burns just came with the territory.

“Anybody who works with their hands on a regular basis is going to have an accident at some point,” he wrote. “Anything you do, there’s a risk factor.”

Leno had already poked fun at his injuries Nov. 27 when he performed a set at the Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach. However, his jokes started way before he took the stage.

“Ah, the Elephant Man is here,” he told paparazzi at the comedy venue.

“We got two shows tonight: regular and extra crispy,” he added.

Leno, who wrote in the column that there’s “nothing worse than whiny celebrities,” wrote that he’s determined to make the best of his injuries.

“If you joke about it, people laugh along with you.”

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