Jay Leno, the former “Tonight Show” host widely known for his love with vehicles, had surgery on Tuesday to repair many broken bones after a motorcycle accident in early January, he said in an interview on Friday.
It seems his good humor had returned: “A 72-year-old man driving an 83-year-old motorcycle. What could go wrong?” he cracked a witty remark.
Mr. Leno stated he was test riding a 1940 Indian four-cylinder motorcycle with a sidecar on January 17 when he noticed the smell of gas.
This mishap occurred two months after he suffered burns while working on autos in his garage.
When he took a detour to inspect his motorcycle, he hit a hidden wire and was flung from the bike.
The accident caused him to suffer a surgically repaired collarbone, two broken ribs, two shattered kneecaps, and a scar across his neck.
“It’s a little painful, but it’s not the end of the world,” he said. “Luckily, I’m only 72. If I had been an older man, this could have been very serious.”
During the interview, the comedian stated that his injuries were minor and that he would be OK to return to work this coming weekend.
Tickets for his upcoming concert at California’s Comedy and Magic Club on Sunday night have already sold out. In the next weeks, he will also perform in Ohio and Arizona.
On Friday, Mr. Leno tweeted, “I was riding my motorcycle up in Lake Tahoe and I came around the corner and bam, I crashed into Jeremy Renner’s snowplow.”
On Thursday, Mr. Leno told a columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal about his motorbike accident.
The columnist, John Katsilometes, had inquired how he was doing after suffering severe burns in a garage fire caused by flammable gasoline in late 2022 in Burbank, California. Mr. Leno chimed in, “That was the first accident.”
In an interview with the Review-Journal, he explained that he had been reluctant to discuss the incident publicly because of the media attention surrounding his prior motorcycle accident only a few months before.
While working on one of his automobiles in November, Mr. Leno suffered “significant burns” to his face, chest, and hands, necessitating surgery. Mr. Leno stated after the blaze that he would “just need a week or two” to recover.
He joked about the accidents on Friday: “I try to crash within five or six miles of my garage all the time so I can get stuff back,” he said.
The injury comes at the same time as CNBC’s decision not to renew the comedian and car enthusiast’s show, “Jay Leno’s Garage,” which, since its 2015 debut, has featured the comedian’s large car collection alongside celebrity interviews.
Mr. Leno explained that the decision was made as part of a bigger effort to reorganize CNBC’s programming. When asked for comment, the network’s representatives remained silent.
“I’d like to continue my relationship with NBC. So, you know, there’s no bad blood or ill feeling, right?” he said, adding: “I wish them luck in everything there. We had a good time while we were there.”
Mr. Leno, who has been a staple of NBC’s television content for three decades, has stated that he is seeking for a new home for the show, and that he believes streaming platforms “seems to be the wave of the future.”
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