Jay Leno Discusses His Recent Car and Motorcycle Accidents (Exclusive)

Jay Leno don’t let any accidents or accidents stop him from achieving his dreams and pursuing his passions.

The 73-year-old stand-up comedian and former host of The tonight show came out this year to participate Kennedy Center Award in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, and he spoke with ET’s Deidre Behar about his controversial near-death experiences last year.

When asked how the incidents have changed or affected his outlook and outlook on life – and specifically driving and working on vehicles – Leno simply said that “nothing” is different.

“It didn’t change anything at all,” Leno said. “Once a man is forty, you can’t convince him of anything else.”

Leno was hospitalized after being caught in a garage fire and his face was severely burned in November 2022. Then, in January 2023, Leno was seriously injured and left with several broken bones after being knocked off one of his motorcycles.

But after a lifetime of collecting, driving and repairing a wide variety of cars and bikes, Leno doesn’t see himself changing his ways anytime soon.

I still ride motorcycles. I’m still falling off, I’m still working on cars,” Leno said. ‘No, once someone learns [something]you can’t teach him new tricks.”

As for his prediction in the future, Leno joked, “Oh, riding a motorcycle and falling off!”

Kent Nishimura/AFP via Getty Images

The comic was special for Sunday’s event in Washington and explained what he was most looking forward to Billy Crystal be honored.

“Billy’s my guy, he’s a comedian, you know. It’s nice to see fellow comedians get recognized,” Leno said. “No one has done what he’s done. He hosted the Oscars nine times, all the Emmys, all the movies. I mean, he’s a real – to me he’s a comedian, but also a very good actor.”

Crystal was honored on Sunday along with Queen LatifahDionne Warwick, opera icon Renée Fleming and musician Barry Gibb.

Watch the video below to learn more about Leno’s near-death accidents and his subsequent recovery.

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