Jay Leno makes first stage appearance since suffering “serious” burns

Jay Leno is set for a comeback.

On Sunday night, the comedian went ahead with a scheduled show for the first time since suffering “serious” burns to his face and hands earlier this month.

Leno, 72, performed at the Southern California comedy club Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach for a sold-out crowd. The former Tonight Show host is currently on a stand-up tour that runs into 2023.

Leno, an avid car collector, was reportedly working on one of his cars when a gasoline accident occurred in his garage on November 12. Leno was released from the Grossman Burn Center about a week and a half later, after undergoing skin graft surgery.

Dr. Peter Grossman, the medical director of Grossman Burn Center, told reporters that Leno remained in “good spirits” and was still able to crack jokes. He said that they’ll continue to monitor the comedian’s condition even after his release.

“Our hope is that when everything is all said and done, he will do well,” Grossman said. “But burn injuries are progressive and dynamic and it’s hard to predict ultimately what the final outcome will be at this stage in the game.”

Grossman said “currently there’s no evidence of nerve damage” and he anticipates Leno will make a “full recovery,” but there’s no way to know if “remnants of this injury” could persist.

Leno was the host of NBC’s Tonight Show from 1992 to 2009 and later made a comeback from 2010 to 2014. In 2015, the car enthusiast began hosting the CNBC series Jay Leno’s Garage, which highlights avid car collectors and vintage and unique vehicles — including, incidentally, the antique, steam-powered car at the center of his garage mishap.

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