Following a car fire that occurred accidentally at his garage in November, Jay Leno is displaying his “new face” after sustaining severe burn wounds. The former Tonight Show host discussed his comeback when appearing on The Kelly Clarkson Show after Clarkson, 40, commented on how well he looks.
Leno, 72, bragged, “This is a completely new face. “It’s incredible. As I was working on the car, gasoline splashed in my face, setting it on fire.” He laughed and said, “I was eating a burning hot Dorito and when I bit into it, it put my face on fire. “No, but it was fascinating. All of them had third-degree burns. It wasn’t really good.”
The comedian’s recovery has left Clarkson speechless, she continued, adding that it’s impossible to tell he was in an accident.
Leno taunted the singer, “You assume there’d be a zipper here or something, but no, this is like a brand new face. “I’ve only ever been the fresh face of comedy once in my career. I used to get it, and now I do once again. That ear is brand-new!”
Leno suffered serious second-degree burns all over his face and upper body back in November while he and his longtime friend Dave Killackey were repairing a clogged fuel line in the undercarriage of a 1907 White Steam Vehicle parked in the TV host’s 140,000 square foot Burbank garage. Leno was treated at The Grossman Center for burns to his face, neck, chest, hands, and left arm after paramedics responded in just a few minutes.
Over the course of nine days, Leno underwent two skin grafting procedures (using pig intestine and human cadaver skin, respectively) to help regenerate new, healthy skin. He also endured sessions in hyperbaric chambers to help oxygenate tissue. Leno returned to the stage six days after leaving the Center to perform stand-up at the Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, California.
A month after the incident, Leno detailed the trauma, saying, “My face actually did feel like it was on fire. That’d be fair to say, maybe like the worst sunburn you’ve ever had.” Leno added that while he recovered, he was conscious of the fact that things could have been far worse. He said, “I know how horrible it could have been. “But I’m fine. And I’m certain I’ll keep acting foolishly the same way I always have. Maybe just a little more cautiously!”