Jay Leno Brian Epstein

Comedian and talkshow host Jay Leno has opened up about the garage incident that resulted in his face catching fire.

In a new interview with People, the presenter spoke for the first time about the accident, which occurred on November 12.

Leno explained how, while working on the undercarriage of a 1907 White steam car with his long-time friend Dave Killackey, his face became coated in petrol.

“With a steam car, you have gasoline, but you also have a vaporiser which is heated by a pilot light to turn water into steam,” Leno explained.

The pair decided to blow some air into the fuel line in an attempt to unclog it, and Leno “got a face full of gasoline” as a result.

“I knew how close I was to the pilot light and I thought, ‘Uh oh,'” he said of the moment right before he caught fire.

“It felt exactly like my face was on fire,” he added. “Maybe like the most intense sunburn you’ve ever had, that’d be fair to say.”

Jay Leno (Credit: Getty)

In addition to his face, Leno also sustained burns to his neck, chest, hands and arm. The comedian said he avoided any further damage thanks to a quick piece of thinking.

“I’m not a panicky guy, but I knew if I breathed in I could scorch my lungs,” Leno said. “I was under the car maybe 10 seconds before Dave pulled me out. Any longer than that I could have lost my eye.”

Leno spent nine days at Grossman Burn Centre in West Hills, California, where he underwent two skin-grafting surgeries – one of which involved human cadaver skin, and the other pig intestine.

The talkshow host said that he refused to take painkillers during the recovery process, insisting that “the pain is a reminder that I’m an idiot!”

He added: “I know how bad it could have been, but I’m OK. And I’m sure I’ll continue to do the same stupid things I’ve always done – just maybe a little bit more carefully!”

Back in October, Leno spoke out in defence of fellow talkshow host James Corden, after the latter was banned from a New York restaurant due to his alleged “abusive” behaviour.

“It just made me laugh,” Leno said about the ordeal. “I know James. He’s been wonderful to me. I never saw it, but when you’re in my city, you don’t see that side of people, so I have no idea.”

The post Jay Leno opens up about garage accident: “My face was on fire” appeared first on NME.


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