Jay Leno, 72, is once again finding himself under medical care after being knocked off his motorcycle on January 17 – just two months after suffering serious burns in a gasoline fire. He kept the news a secret for over a week but finally opened up about the accident in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The interviewer, John Katsilometes, had asked Leno how he was doing after the November fire, which left him with second-degree burns on his face and hands. At this point, Katsilometes had no idea about the motorcycle accident – no one did. “That was the first accident,” said Leno before giving the details.
“Then just last week, I got knocked off my motorcycle. So I’ve got a broken collarbone. I’ve got two broken ribs. I’ve got two cracked kneecaps,” said Leno – as if it was just another day in his normal life. “But I’m OK! I’m OK, I’m working. I’m working this weekend,” he added as if he had no broken bones whatsoever.
The accident occurred while Jay Leno was testing a 1940 Indian motorcycle – a vintage vehicle, like the one he was working on in November before his first accident. As he was driving, he started to smell a gas leak in the vehicle and decided to pull over to investigate. That’s when things went south very quickly.
“So I turned down a side street and cut through a parking lot, and unbeknownst to me, some guy had a wire strung across the parking lot but with no flag hanging from it. So, you know, I didn’t see it until it was too late. It just clothesline me and, boom, knocked me off the bike,” said Leno. This was on January 17th.
Leno went on to explain why he waited nine days before making the accident public – which is when the comedian came out. “You know, after getting burned up, you get that one for free. After that, you’re Harrison Ford, crashing airplanes. You just want to keep your head down (laughs),” he jokingly said.
In November, Leno was working on a 1907 White Steam Car that had a clogged fuel line. He was underneath the vehicle when gasoline leaked on his face, followed by a spark that set it on fire. He suffered second-degree burns and required multiple surgeries to repair damaged tissue and skin.
Jay Leno Won’t Let This Stop Him From Working
Jay Leno is preparing to headline for Encore Theatre on March 31st in what will be his first show in Las Vegas since his November accident – he spent more than a decade as a part of the ‘Aces of Comedy’ lineup at the Mirage Theatre. His March return would be his first performance at the Encore Theatre.
In fact, that’s what his interview with John Katsilometes was supposed to be about – until the motorcycle accident took precedence. Once he explained what went down, the interview transitioned back to its initial topic. He expressed how impressed he was with the Encore Theatre when he was in town last October.
“I saw that theater and said, ‘I’d love to play here,’ and just made the call. It worked out well. The great thing about Vegas is the lights, the sound, it’s all a given. It’s done right. You play some gigs, like the Holiday Inn in Chicago, and it’s, ‘Hey, everybody WOOOOP! WOOOOP!’ said Leno of the theater.
Leno talked about the ‘high level of professionalism’ he notices with the various crews and team members that work on those shows – adding it’s ‘really cool.’ He looks forward to bringing his comedy to the theater on March 31st and you won’t want to miss it – he performs at 8:00 p.m., so mark your calendars now!
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