Jay Leno has suffered “serious burns” but is in stable condition following a gasoline fire, the former “The Tonight Show” host confirmed to Variety. Leno said in a statement: “I got some serious burns from a gasoline fire. I am ok. Just need a week or two to get back on my feet.”
TMZ reported that Leno was hospitalized on Sunday after a fire erupted in his Los Angeles car garage. One of the cars reportedly burst into flames and left Leno with burns on his face. Leno was taken to the Grossman Burn Center for his injuries.
News of Leno’s health was first reported by People magazine. The comedian was scheduled to take part in a Las Vegas financial conference on Sunday but had to cancel his appearance due to a “serious medical emergency.” Leno’s facial burns were not disclosed at the time.
“His family was not able to provide us very many details, but there was a very serious medical emergency that is preventing Jay from traveling,” an email to attendees read. “All we know is that he is alive, so our prayers go out to him and his family tonight.”
Over the last several years, Leno has been outspoken about having high cholesterol. News of a “serious medical emergency” led many fans to believe Leno was having a health issue related to his cholesterol. In a video posted in 2019, Leno encouraged his followers to get routine cholesterol checkups.
“There’s a lot of people walking around like that, they’re just time bombs. You’ve got all this cholesterol, you don’t realize it until it actually hits, you know?” Leno said at the time. “It’s like in a car, if even one piece of dirt gets in the eye of the needle of the jet, and boom and no more gas comes through. And that’s what happens with your heart.”
Leno succeeded Johnny Carson as the host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” which he originally hosted from 1992 to 2009. Leno left the gig to start his own NBC primetime talk show, “The Jay Leno Show,” with Conan O’Brien stepping in as the new host of “The Tonight Show.” Both programs suffered from lousy ratings, resulting in NBC’s infamous decision to reinstate Leno as “The Tonight Show” host in March 2010. Leno stayed with the late night show for another four years and officially signed off on Feb. 6, 2014. Leno was replaced by Jimmy Fallon.
Outside of “The Tonight Show,” Leno launched his CNBC series “Jay Leno’s Garage” in 2015. The show has run for a total of seven seasons and 88 episodes so far. “Jay Leno’s Garage” wrapped up its seventh season at the end of Oct. Starting in 2021, Leno also became the new host of the “You Bet Your Life” revival.