Jay Leno Is Recovering From Surgery After a Motorcycle Accident
Jay Leno, the former “Tonight Show” host also known for his obsession with cars, had surgery on Tuesday to repair multiple broken bones after a motorcycle accident in early January, he said in an interview on Friday.
He seemed to be back in good spirits: “A 72-year-old man driving an 83-year-old motorcycle. What could go wrong?” he quipped.
In his latest accident, two months after he sustained burns while working on cars in his garage, Mr. Leno said he was test riding a 1940 Indian four-cylinder motorcycle on Jan. 17, when he noticed the smell of gas coming from the bike.
He turned down a side street to check the motorcycle and was thrown off it after riding through a wire he could not see. The accident left him with a scar across his neck, two broken ribs, two broken kneecaps and a snapped collarbone that he had surgically repaired.
“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.”
Despite the injuries, the comedian insisted during the interview that he was in good physical condition and said he would be recovered enough to work this weekend.
His Sunday night show at the Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, Calif., which he still plans to do, is sold out. He also has shows scheduled in Arizona and Ohio in the coming weeks.
Mr. Leno even cracked a joke about the crash, writing on Twitter on Friday, “I was riding my motorcycle up in Lake Tahoe and I came around the corner and bam, I crashed into Jeremy Renner’s snowplow.”
Mr. Leno first shared the news of the motorcycle accident in an interview with a Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist on Thursday.
The columnist, John Katsilometes, had asked about his recovery from a gasoline fire at his Burbank, Calif., garage in late 2022 that left him with serious burns. “That was the first accident,” Mr. Leno replied.
He said in the Review-Journal interview that he had not wanted to talk publicly about the motorcycle accident because of the widespread attention around his previous accident just a couple of months before.
In November, Mr. Leno had surgery after sustaining what doctors called “significant burns” to his face, chest and hands while working on one of his cars. After that fire, Mr. Leno said in a statement that he would “just need a week or two” to get back on his feet.
The comedian and car aficionado’s most recent injury also comes amid CNBC’s decision not to renew his show, “Jay Leno’s Garage,” he said, a program that since 2015 has showcased his extensive automobile collection alongside celebrity interviews.
The move was part of a larger restructuring at CNBC, Mr. Leno said.
“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 mainstay of NBC’s television content for three decades, said he was looking for a new home for the show, possibly on a streaming platform, which he said “seems to be the wave of the future.”