Jay Leno, comedian and former host for The Tonight Show, got into a motorcycle accident last week where he broke his collarbone, two ribs, and cracked both his knee caps. He revealed the news on Thursday with the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
In the interview, Leno was asked how he was recovering from the second-degree burns he suffered in November from a car fire.
“It’s so funny you should say that,” he responded. “That was the first accident. OK? Then just last week, I got knocked off my motorcycle. So I’ve got a broken collarbone. I’ve got two broken ribs. I’ve got two cracked kneecaps.”
“But I’m OK,” he assured. “I’m OK, I’m working. I’m working this weekend.”
Leno detailed how the accident happened which he said was on January 17. He was test driving a 1940 Indian motorcycle when suddenly he smelt what seemed to be leaking gas from the fuel line.
“So I turned down a side street,” he said, “and cut through a parking lot, and unbeknownst to me, some guy had a wire strung across the parking lot but with no flag hanging from it. So, you know, I didn’t see it until it was too late. It just clotheslined me and, boom, knocked me off the bike.
“The bike kept going,” he added, “and you know how that works.”
Leno admits he didn’t want to make it public right away because of how much media coverage was already on him for the burns he suffered in November.
“You know, after getting burned up, you get that one for free. After that, you’re Harrison Ford, crashing airplanes. You just want to keep your head down.”
A little over two months ago, Leno suffered second-degree burns on his face and upper body after a car fire happened in his 140,000 square-foot Burbank garage, which he used to store his vintage cars for his CNBC show, Jay Leno’s Garage, which is co-hosted by his longtime friend, Dave Killackey.
“When you work with cars, you have a lot of accidents,” Leno told People about a month after the incident. “But this is bigger than most.”
Leno was working with Killackey on a clogged fuel line in the undercarriage of a 1907 White Steam Car.
“With a steam car, you have gasoline, but you also have a vaporizer which is heated by a pilot light to turn water into steam,” he informed.
To unclog the line, Leno pushed some air into it and caught a “face full of gasoline”.
“I knew how close I was to the pilot light and I thought ‘Uh oh’.”
Suddenly, there was a spark and Leno’s face was engulfed in flames.
“It felt exactly like my face was on fire,” he said. “Maybe like the most intense sunburn you’ve ever had, that’d be fair to say.”
Killackey moved as quick as he could and pulled Leno out from underneath the car.
“I was under the car maybe 10 seconds before Dave pulled me out,” he recalled. “Any longer than that I could have lost my eye.”
Leno was immediately rushed to the hospital and then transferred to the Grossman Burn Center where he underwent two skin grafting surgeries to “help regenerate new healthy skin, as well as sessions in hyperbaric chambers to help oxygenate tissue,” per People.
On top of all this, The Hollywood Reporter revealed via a CNBC source that Jay Leno’s Garage has been officially canceled after running for seven seasons.
The show started as a web series on NBC.com, but was quickly picked up by NBCUniversal for TV in 2015, a year after Leno officially retired from The Tonight Show. The ending of this show will mark the end of a 30-year long career with NBC for Leno.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, “The cancellation comes amid a larger schedule shift at the channel, with its primetime hours to focus on reality reruns of Shark Tank and Undercover Boss, as well as original business documentaries.”
No comment has been released by Leno or his team about whether the show will be picked up by a different network. However, Leno has confirmed he’s OK – by some miracle – after two months of faulty fuel lines and bad luck with his vintage vehicles. Maybe a short hiatus from his garage is the smart move for right now, anyways.