Jay Leno Shows His 'Brand-New Face' After Garage Fire During 'Kelly Clarkson Show' Appearance

Leno suffered third-degree burns while fixing a vintage car back in November.

For the second time in his storied career, Jay Leno is the face of comedy. Yes, it's a joke, and one he recently made thanks to having a "brand new face."

During an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, the 72-year-old comedian opened up -- and joked -- about the third-degree burns he suffered while working on a vintage car after a fuel leak led to gasoline to spray on his face and hands, triggering an explosion.

Leno was hospitalized for 10 days at a burn unit, but the seriousness of the situation didn't mean the comedian wanted to pump the brakes on the jokes. Following a standing ovation, Leno briefly explained what happened before dropping the one-liners.

"This is a brand-new face," he said. "I was working on a car and I got a face full of gasoline and it caught fire. I had been eating a Flaming Hot Dorito when I bit into it. It set my face on fire."

After Clarkson told him his face looked intact and showed no signs of any serious accident involving fire, Leno continued with his quasi stand-up material.

"You'd think there'd be a zipper here or something, but no," said Leno while pointing to his face. "Only for the second time in my career am I the new face of comedy. I got it once in the '80s and now I get it again. This is a brand-new ear."

Leno can joke about it now, but there was a point in time where it seemed like Leno would be facing a serious uphill battle in his road to recovery. 

Dr. Peter Grossman, a renowned expert in the comprehensive treatment of burn injuries and director of the prestigious burn center, spoke to ET about Leno's status and recovery, explaining that he sustained "significant injuries" but is still "doing very well."

"He's got a very strong attitude. He's a very strong individual," Grossman shared. "And he's a person who really is looking to move forward, to try to find a way to get past this episode of his life and to get back to what he normally likes to do, which is to be out there and entertain and be with the people. I think at some point soon he'll get there, but I've had to tell him that, for the time being, he needs to sit back and take care of Jay."

As if the burns on his face and hands weren't already a lot for him to end 2022 with, the comedian began 2023 with a frightening motorcycle crash.

"I got knocked off my motorcycle," he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "So I’ve got a broken collarbone. I’ve got two broken ribs. I’ve got two cracked kneecaps."

As for how it all unfolded, the former Tonight Show host told the outlet he smelled leaking gas while testing a 1940 Indian motorcycle on Jan. 17.

"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,” he recalled. “So, you know, I didn’t see it until it was too late. It just clothesline me and, boom, knocked me off the bike."

Leno's resilience once again was on display soon after, as he returned to the comedy stage -- no joke -- just days later in Hermosa Beach, California.