Jay Leno Recalls How 'Face Caught On Fire' In 1st Interview Since Accident

By Rebekah Gonzalez

December 14, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

Jay Leno has given his first interview since the life-threatening accident in his garage. The avid car collector shared the scary details from the freak accident that left him with severe burns on his face, hands, and chest in November.

The comedian sat down with Today's Hoda Kotb to detail the life-changing incident. Leno told the morning show host that he was working under his antique 1907 car with his friend Dave Killackey when the accident occurred.

“The fuel line was clogged so I was underneath it. It sounded clogged and I said, ‘Blow some air through the line,’ and so he did," Leno recalled. "And suddenly, boom, I got a face full of gas. And then the pilot light jumped and my face caught on fire.”

He then remembered telling his friend, "Dave, I’m on fire," to which Killackey responded, "All right." Leno went on, "I said, ‘No, Dave, I’m on fire.’ And then, ‘Oh, my God.' Dave, my friend, pulled me out and jumped on top of me and kind of smothered the fire.”

Leno also revealed that he went home right after the fire instead of a burn unit to make things easier on his wife. The former late-night host was then taken to a local hospital before being transferred to the Grossman Burn Center in Los Angeles where he spent 10 days undergoing surgeries and treatment for the mix of second and third-degree burns to his face and body. At the time his doctor said he was expected to make a full recovery.

Two weeks after the accident, Leno returned to the stage and performed a sold-out set at the Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, California. Leno joked with reporters outside the venue, "We got two shows tonight. Regular and extra crispy," per CNN.

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