Comedian Jay Leno returned to the stage over the weekend for the first time since he sustained serious burns to parts of his upper body and face in a gasoline fire while working on a vintage car earlier this month.
Leno arrived at the Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, California, Sunday night and he turned heads when he pulled up because he hit a police car, according to video of the incident obtained by TMZ.
“I’m not on stage yet, I just got here!” Leno said to the press as they hounded him the moment he stepped out of his car. “Stay away from the Flamin’ Hot Doritos, that’s what caused all this!”
Leno approached the police and asked them about the damage that was done to their vehicle and it appeared as though his car just grazed the side of the police car’s tire.
“The National Enquirer got the story all wrong, they said I was in the hospital because Nancy Pelosi hit me in the head with a hammer,” Leno joked with reporters. “That’s not what happened.”
When asked if he was nervous about getting back up on stage, Leno responded, “No, we got two shows tonight: Regular and extra crispy.”
Leno was released from the hospital last Monday, more than a week after he sustained third-degree burns while working on his 1907 White Steam Car.
Leno, who injured his hands and face, underwent grafting procedures at the Grossman Burn Center in Los Angeles. Dr. Peter Grossman seemed to revise his initial concerns that it might take more than a couple of weeks for Leno to be back on his feet.
“I am pleased with Jay’s progress, and I am optimistic that he will make a full recovery,” Grossman, a board-certified plastic surgeon, told Fox News Digital.
Leno, a car enthusiast whose collection includes McLarens, Bugattis, and Bentleys, was working to repair a clogged fuel line when a leak caused gasoline to spray over his face and hands. A spark then caused an explosion, which ignited the gas.
Leno told TMZ that his friend Dave, who was in the garage with him at the time, was able to smother the flames — otherwise, he said that the fire was serious enough that it easily could have killed him.
Eric Quintanar contributed to this report.