Jay Leno Opens Up About Retirement Plans After Car Fire and Motorcycle Accident

Jay Leno, the beloved former anchor of The Tonight Show, recently went through a tumultuous period of his life. Within a short span of time, he experienced two catastrophic events that left him with multiple injuries all over his body.

It all started when Leno was working on a vintage car in his Los Angeles garage. A terrible car fire erupted, causing significant damage and leaving Leno with severe second and third-degree burns. He had to spend nine days at West Hills Hospital’s Grossman Burn Center to receive treatment.

Just over a month later, on January 27, Leno was involved in a motorcycle accident, resulting in a broken collarbone and two ribs. Despite these unfortunate incidents, the 73-year-old comedian remains resilient and has no plans to retire.

No Plans to Retire

Leno, who currently hosts Jay Leno’s Garage and the NBC game show You Bet Your Life, recently spoke with Page Six about his retirement plans. He made it clear that, unless he experiences a serious health issue like a stroke, he has no intentions of retiring. Leno emphasized that he will continue working until his health forces him to step away.

“I have no plans to retire,” Leno declared fiercely. “Unless I have a stroke… Then you slow down.” He understands that retirement will come when his health no longer allows him to keep going.

Bouncing Back Strong

Despite his recent accidents, Leno has shown remarkable resilience. Just days after his nine-day hospital stay, which included multiple grafting surgeries, he bravely returned to driving and even visited the accident site. And less than a week later, Leno received a warm welcome back to the stage at the Comedy Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, California, where a sold-out crowd greeted him with standing ovations.

Reflecting on the Car Fire

In an interview with People, Leno discussed the car fire incident, acknowledging that accidents happen when you work with cars. However, he emphasized that this incident was more significant than most. While repairing a clogged fuel pipe in a 1907 White Steam Car, Leno realized just how close he was to the pilot light, which could have led to a catastrophic outcome. He vividly recalled the moment when he received a “full face of gasoline,” describing it as feeling like his face was on fire.

With the support of medical procedures, such as skin grafting and hyperbaric chamber sessions, Leno began his road to recovery. Throughout his hospital stay, Leno avoided taking medication, considering it a reminder of his mistake. He appreciated the affection shown by his famous friends and family, including phone calls from Russell Crowe, flowers from Tom Selleck, and a generous Italian basket from John Travolta. Their support meant a lot to Leno during his challenging time.

Through it all, Jay Leno remains strong and determined. He continues to entertain audiences and is committed to his work until circumstances out of his control dictate otherwise. Retirement may not be on the horizon for this legendary comedian anytime soon.