The late-night legend Jay Leno, 72, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Thursday that he is recovering well from the multiple bone fractures he sustained in a motorcycle accident on January 17.
Even worse, soon after that interview came out, The Hollywood Reporter reported that CNBC was canceling the comedian’s show, Jay Leno’s Garage, after seven seasons in the primetime slot. This is part of the network’s recent decision to focus more on business news and personal finance content. This ends Leno’s three-decade relationship with NBC, which began when he hosted the Tonight Show for 22 years.
The comedian, who is getting ready for a one-night show at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas on March 31, said that he “got knocked off” his vintage motorcycle after taking it for a test drive. It was a 1940 Indian. However, he stopped because he thought he smelled gas leaking. He suffered several broken bones. Besides, Jay Leno had to have surgery after the accident, including two ribs, two kneecaps, and a snapped collarbone.
In spite of his wounds, the comic insisted during the interview that he was in fine shape. On top of that, he would be ready to perform this coming weekend.
The crash happened almost two months after he was hospitalized for second and third-degree burns. Then a clogged fuel line blew gas in his face. Not to add, he and his longtime friend Dave Killackey were in the undercarriage of a 1907 White Steam car.
Killackey told Today’s Hoda Kotb that the accident turned Leno’s upper body into a “wall of fire.” As a result, Leno had to go to the hospital for treatment of severe burns on his face, neck, chest, hands, and left arm.
The cancellation ends his more than 30-year relationship with NBC. It began in 1992 when he took over The Tonight Show from Johnny Carson. He won a highly publicized bidding war against David Letterman. And ultimately, Letterman launched his own competitive show on CBS, which ran for 23 seasons.
In 2009, Leno gave The Tonight Show to Conan O’Brien but later regretted it. NBC kept Leno in the 10 p.m. slot with The Jay Leno Show out of fear he would leave.
After rating problems, NBC moved Leno back to 11:30 p.m., pushing O’Brien’s Tonight Show to midnight. O’Brien appealed and won a multimillion-dollar settlement to leave NBC.
The ruckus allowed Leno to return to The Tonight Show, where he stayed until 2014, when he handed it over to Jimmy Fallon.