When news broke last month of TV talk show host Jay Leno suffering 'serious burns' in a fire, it was hard to imagine him returning to the stage or to TV screens anytime soon.

However, Leno was back on stage doing stand-up in Los Angeles within days of being released from the Grossman Burn Center, saying "Never thought of myself as a roast comic. We got two shows tonight, regular and extra crispy."

Now, the 72-year-old has gone into detail on what exactly happened during the incident, which took place at his car garage.

Leno is well known for being a vintage car enthusiast, and said he was working on one of the cars with a friend at the time - a steam-powered car from 1907 - when he noticed that its fuel line was blocked.

"So I was underneath it, trying to unclog (it), and I said, 'blow some air through the line," he told NBC's Today Show. "Then suddenly, boom, I got a face full of gas and then the pilot light jumped, and my face caught on fire."

His friend jumped on top of him to smother the flames, but he spent a week in hospital where he received hyperbaric treatment and temporary skin grafts from 'human cadavers' to help his 'deep second-degree burns'.

A doctor from the Grossman Burn Center said that he had received burns to 7% of his body.

He posed for a photo with the staff of the Center when he was leaving, which showed how his face, neck and chest had been burned. Other papparazzi pictures showed damage to his hands, too.

He wrote in an Op-Ed for the Wall Street Journal, published last Sunday, "Eight days later, I had a brand new face. And it’s better than what was there before."

He added that "there's nothing worse than whiny celebrities," and "If you joke about it, people laugh along with you."