Jay Leno Says Car and Motorcycle Accidents Have Not Changed His Outlook on Life (Exclusive)
The former 'Tonight Show' host spoke with ET at the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C.
10:54 PM PST, December 3, 2023
Jay Leno isn't letting any accidents or mishaps keep him from living his dreams and pursuing his passions.
On Sunday, the 73-year-old comedian and former host of The Tonight Show came out to take part in this year's Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C., and spoke with ET's Deidre Behar about his high-profile, near-death experiences over the past year.
When asked how the incidents have changed or impacted his outlook or perspective on life -- and specifically driving and working on vehicles -- Leno said simply that "nothing" is different whatsoever.
"It hasn't changed it at all," Leno said. "Once a man hits 40, you can't convince him of anything else."
Leno was hospitalized after he was caught in a garage fire and his face was badly burned in November 2022. Then, in January 2023, Leno was badly injured and left with several broken bones after getting knocked off one of his motorcycles.
However, after a lifetime of collecting, driving and repairing a wide variety of cars and bikes, Leno doesn't see himself changing his habits any time soon.
"I'm still riding motorcycles. I'm still falling off, I'm still working on cars," Leno said. "No, once a guy learns [something], you can't teach him new tricks."
As for his prediction in the future, Leno joked, "Oh, riding motorcycles and falling off!"Kent Nishimura/AFP via Getty Images
The comic was in Washington specifically for Sunday's event, and explained how he was most excited to see Billy Crystal get honored.
"Billy is my guy, he's a comic, you know. It's fun to see fellow comedians get recognized," Leno said. "Nobody's done what he's done. Hosted the Oscars nine times, all the Emmys, all the movies. I mean he's a real -- to me he's a comedian, but a really good actor too."
Crystal was honored on Sunday alongside Queen Latifah, Dionne Warwick, opera icon Renée Fleming and musician Barry Gibb.
For more on Leno's near-death mishaps, and his subsequent recovery, check out the video below.