What Jay Leno Has Been Up To Since His Garage Fire

Jay Leno is one of the most famous and successful TV personalities of all time. According to Britannica, he is arguably most famous for being a long-time host for the popular TV series "The Tonight Show." One of Leno's best traits, as said by his peers and fans, is his magnetic charm, which helps set him apart from some of his contemporaries. Leno helped transform "The Tonight Show" into something more radical, amping up many of its routines and introducing entirely new segments and practices to the format. Leno's been the recipient of many awards and helped significantly expand the viewership of the legendary program.

As stated by KTLA, Leno was involved in a horrendous car fire earlier in November 2022. The incident happened in Leno's Burbank car garage and was apparently caused by one of his steam cars catching on fire. Leno's face caught some of the ignited gas, causing very serious injuries. As of now, Leno is recovering from injuries, but what has he been up to since the accident? 

A brief summary of Jay Leno's life

As stated by Biography, Jay Leno was always into comedy, even from an early age. He was a kind of class clown in school, much to the detriment of his teachers. And while he wasn't exactly the best nor most studious student, his peers always saw talent in his acting and humor. Leno would eventually study speech therapy at Emerson College, which led to many stand-up stints in various nightclubs until he finally started doing television work.

Much of Leno's early career can be categorized by hard work and prolificity. Many fans of Leno might not be aware that he's worked on popular TV shows like "Good Times," "South Park," "The Flintstones," "You Bet Your Life," "The Simpsons," and more. But, of course, Leno's biggest role was being the host of "The Jay Leno Show" and "The Tonight Show." In fact, Leno was so popular on "The Tonight Show" that ratings took a blow after he left in 2009. It wouldn't be until the following year that Leno would come back to the show and host for an additional four years (per Britannica). 

How his garage fire happened

Jay Leno is also an avid car enthusiast. He hosts the show "Jay Leno's Garage," which is dedicated to showing off his massive car collection. He's also quite knowledgeable about car history and automotive mechanics, which he ends up teaching about on the show as well, making it an educational experience (via NBC News). Unfortunately, this automotive love is what led to one of the worst disasters Leno has ever experienced.

As Us Magazine explains, the fire incident occurred inside of Leno's Burbank garage. He was working on some cars when one of them caught fire. The ensuing incident spewed gasoline all over Leno's face, and he incurred very bad third-degree burns. According to Jalopnik, it was Leno's steam car, which is over a century old, that was responsible for the incident. A fuel leak and a spark created an explosion, though Dave, Leno's friend, was able to put the fire out in time. 

Jay Leno has been recovering from his injuries

Jay Leno's injuries were significant and required a great amount of medical attention. According to Us Magazine, he had multiple surgeries to fix injuries on both his hands and face. He also went through extensive skin grafting. Though the injuries were bad, the doctors said that he was in good condition the whole time. Leno made the most of his time in the hospital as well, cheering up children who were also in the ward. He would do things like entertain them and give them cookies, which the hospital staff enjoyed. 

As said by ABC7, the entertainer recovered quite well and was released from Grossman Burn Center 10 days after his injuries. Doctors were very upbeat about his condition at the time of his release and expected a full recovery without any complications. Leno even appeared for a photo with hospital staff before his leave, which seemed to show him in good health. 

He made a triumphant return to stand-up comedy two weeks after the incident

Jay Leno has recovered enough that he's even doing stand-up comedy again. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Leno appeared at Hermosa Beach, California, in the Comedy and Magic Club two weeks after his accident, doing his regular stand-up routine for an hour. Leno even made jokes about his incident, saying, "I never thought of myself as a roast comic." It won't be the only comedy performance Leno will do this year, as he has three more sets at the same club coming in December (via CNN). 

Leno didn't stop doing comedy during his recovery, even in the hospital. According to doctors, he would often make jokes with other people and walk around. Leno's recent comedy performance also sold out entirely, with all of the seats filled. Whether Leno will return back to his garage and continue his mechanic work soon is not yet known.