Jay Leno Opens Up About Burn Injuries In Classic Stand-Up Fashion

"You have to joke about it," said Leno. "There’s nothing worse than whiny celebrities."

Jay Leno, who sustained serious burns to his face, chest and hands when one of his vintage cars caught fire last month, addressed the catastrophe for the first time on Monday — in true comic fashion.

“Eight days later, I had a brand new face,” Leno, the former “Tonight Show” host who famously collects cars, told The Wall Street Journal. “And it’s better than what was there before. 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,” Leno continued. “Anything you do, there’s a risk factor. You have to joke about it. There’s nothing worse than whiny celebrities. If you joke about it, people laugh along with you.”

Leno, 72, spent 10 days in the Grossman Burn Center in Los Angeles after a Nov. 12 gasoline fire in his home garage.

He officially retired from “The Tonight Show” in 2014 and went on to host “Jay Leno’s Garage,” a CNBC series devoted to his extensive collection.

Leno at his expansive garage in Los Angeles.
Leno at his expansive garage in Los Angeles.
CNBC via Getty Images

Leno performed a sold-out comedy club show in Los Angeles on Nov. 27.

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

He wrote a column for the Journal about cars two years ago. After his hospitalization, the paper asked him for an update, published on Monday.

“He has new material from the accident,” the Journal wrote in its introduction to the updated column.

Leno is scheduled to perform two more comedy club shows in December.

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