Jay Leno has no plans to slow down — but will under one condition.
“Then you slow down,” he explained Saturday at a kickoff event ahead of the premiere of “Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge.”
“That’s when you retire — when you have your stroke.”
Not even two major accidents in the span of two months were enough to keep the former “Tonight Show” host away from doing what he loves.
Last November, he sustained third-degree burns after one of his antique vehicles, on which he was working, ignited a blaze in his Los Angeles garage.
The day after he was discharged, Leno got behind the wheel and drove back to the scene of the freak inferno. Less than a week later, he returned to the stage and performed stand-up for a sold-out crowd.
Then in January, the funnyman “got knocked off” his motorcycle, which left him with “a broken collarbone,” “two broken ribs” and “two cracked kneecaps.”
He was back to joking, driving and working within days.
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While talking to Page Six, Leno said he’s “recovering” so well that he’s not even doing physical therapy these days.
“I’m doing good! I’m doing good. … It’s fine! I’m fine,” he insisted, attributing his positive outlook to his ability to acknowledge his privilege.
“Look, when you’re in my position, when you’re any kind of celebrity, you’re luckier than most people,” he explained.
“So when something bad happens to you, you can’t whine and complain about it because bad things happen to people every day — either they get burned or they get cut — and they don’t have the financial wherewithal I did.”
“So I just make jokes,” he said, going on to quip that “people love to see rich people catch on fire.”
“Plus, it’s Hollywood. As long as you look OK, you’re OK. Nobody really cares how you feel.”
Despite the recent hardships, the former “Jay Leno’s Garage” host is still enjoying his favorite hobbies: tending to his massive collection of new and antique automobiles and taking his bike out for spins.
He admitted that his wife of more than four decades, Mavis Leno, is actually supportive of his continued joy rides.
“As long as it’s not cocaine and girlfriends, she’s fine — believe me,” he joked.
Given his vast knowledge of and unwavering interest in cars, Jay was tapped to join NBC’s “Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge” as a celebrity guest judge.
On the Rutledge Wood-hosted competition show, which premieres Tuesday, superfans will go headlight to headlight to build the life-sized Hot Wheels of their childhood dreams.
For Wood, the gig was a “dream job.”
“As a kid who used to trick out my own Hot Wheels, it almost feels like I manifested this,” he told us, adding that “connecting with Jay Leno” was one of the most “awesome” aspects of the experience.
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