- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Jay Leno has revealed how he sustained third-degree burns in a garage fire last month.
“The fuel line was clogged so I was underneath it,” Leno says in a clip from a sit-down interview set to air on Wednesday’s Today. “It sounded clogged and I said, ‘Blow some air through the line,’ and so he did.”
Leno recalls that the fuel line made a noise, “And suddenly, boom, I got a face full of gas. And then the pilot light jumped and my face caught on fire.”
Luckily his friend Dave Killackey, who was working on the car with him, helped put the fire out.
“I said to my friend, I said, ‘Dave, I’m on fire.’ And Dave’s like, ‘All right.’ 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 explains.
Leno was treated for third-degree burns during a 10-day stay at the Grossman Burn Center in Los Angeles.
Director Dr. Peter Grossman previously told NBC News that Leno suffered “relatively serious” burns to “approximately seven percent of his body,” including his face, chest and hands.
Leno received temporary skin grafts from “human cadaver skin,” Grossman said. And he said Leno seemed to have a “very high pain threshold.”
“He’s also very stoic individual and he’s just not one who wants to complain,” Grossman said.
Leno was injured on Nov. 13, but little was known about how severe his burns were or how the fire started.
In a statement from Leno the day after his injury, he said, “I got some serious burns from a gasoline fire. I am OK. Just need a week or two to get back on my feet.”
Leno, Grossman later revealed, underwent surgery and received high-pressure oxygen therapy before he was released from the burn center on Nov. 21, with a new photo of the comedian shared alongside his departure. The comedian returned to stand-up just days later.
In a Sunday essay for The Wall Street Journal about electric cars and other topics, Leno seemed to be in good spirits about what he called “an accident,” joking, “Eight days later, I had a brand new face. And it’s better than what was there before.”
“Anybody who works with their hands on a regular basis is going to have an accident at some point,” he added. “If you play football, you get a concussion or a broken leg. Anything you do, there’s a risk factor.”
And he indicated he was happy to laugh about his troubles.
“You have to joke about it,” he wrote. “There’s nothing worse than whiny celebrities. If you joke about it, people laugh along with you.”
Since leaving The Tonight Show, the vintage car aficionado has hosted Jay Leno’s Garage on CNBC.
Watch the clip of Leno’s interview with Kotb below.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day