Jay Leno joked his face looks "better" after he was seriously burned last month.

The 72-year-old comedian sustained "deep second-degree burns" after one of his vehicles burst into flames when a fuel leak ignited while he was working in his garage, but he accepted the possibility of an accident was always a risk because of his love of tinkering with old cars.

He wrote in a column for the Wall Street Journal: "Eight days later, I had a brand new face. And it’s better than what was there before.

"But really, it was an accident, that’s all. Anybody who works with their hands on a regular basis is going to have an accident at some point. If you play football, you get a concussion or a broken leg. Anything you do, there’s a risk factor."

And Jay insisted he was always going to poke fun at himself over the painful incident because he didn't want to be a "whiny celebrity".

He added: "You have to joke about it. There’s nothing worse than whiny celebrities. If you joke about it, people laugh along with you."

Jay returned to the stage on 27 November, just two weeks after the accident, and explained he'd found "strength" in comedy, while also praising the "love" he received from the audience at California's Comedy and Magic Club.

He said after the show: "What gave me the strength?!? I’m a comedian. There is no strength — you just tell stupid jokes. I felt the love though."

The veteran entertainer also called for a fundraiser in honour of the staff at Grossman Burn Center, where he was treated.

He added: "And the doctors and nurses were terrific. We’ve got to do a benefit for that hospital!"