• Jay Leno's show "Jay Leno's Garage" was canceled in January 2023.
• Jay Leno had an accident in January 2023 and previously in November 202•
• Arnold Schwarzenegger and Joe Biden were memorable celebrity guests of the show.
• The Pink Panthermobile and Mars Rover were impressive cars featured on the show.
• Kevin Hart and Jessi Combs were guests, and Batman's Tumbler was featured.
Although he’s mostly known for his career as a comedian and TV host, it’s no secret that Jay Leno is incredibly passionate about cars. While reputedly owning a collection of hundreds of models between classics and modern is impressive on its own, Jay is more than a collector but also a connoisseur, as we’ve come to know through his show “Jay Leno’s Garage”.
Thanks to his wide knowledge of the automotive industry and his charismatic personality, Jay has shown his audience what it means to be a motorhead. That is until NBC canceled the show after seven seasons aired, leaving everyone nothing short of flabbergasted by the sudden decision.
So what happened to “Jay Leno’s Garage” and why did the network put an end to it? And what other important details do we need to know to understand what’s going on with the show? Stay here to find out this and more!
Why Was The Show Canceled?
It’s never easy to say goodbye to one of our favorite TV shows, yet it was time for “Jay Leno’s Garage” to end in January 2023. The news of the cancellation came as a surprise for everyone, as the show was a fan favorite, both for casual viewers and motorheads alike.
The decision to put an end to “Jay Leno’s Garage” came from NBC itself, as the network carried out a wide range of changes to its programming, taking shows such as Leno’s from its primetime schedule to favor the release of business-focused documentaries, and reruns of previous seasons of shows such as “Undercover Boss” and “Shark Tanks”.
While it’s unclear if the network’s decision was motivated by rating factors or branding renewals, it’s unclear what the future relationship between Jay Leno and NBC would be, following this cancellation, as the former has been a part of the network for over four decades. Nonetheless, it’s not the end of the road for “Jay Leno’s Garage”, as new content is regularly released on the show’s highly-popular YouTube channel.
Furthermore, whether “Jay Leno’s Garage” will return in the future or is gone for good is still unclear, yet it’s certain that Jay still has a lot to give to the entertainment industry.
Did Jay Leno Have An Accident?
Unfortunately, Jay Leno didn’t get off on the right foot in 2023. Besides the cancellation of “Jay Leno’s Garage”, the comedian and car expert suffered a terrible accident, sustaining serious injuries including broken ribs, a collarbone, and kneecaps.
According to an interview Jay gave to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the accident occurred in mid-January, when he was ‘knocked off’ of his Indian Motorcycle while taking a shortcut through a parking lot: ‘some guy had a wire strung across the parking lot but with no flag hanging from it. So, you know, I didn’t see it until it was too late’, he explained.
The news of his accident came as a surprise to everyone, especially given that Jay had already suffered a terrible accident in November 2022, when steam from one of his cars sprayed his face and hands while was doing some repairs, resulting in him sustaining three-degree burns in said areas, though fortunately he recovered from it well.
As Jay admitted in the same interview, he kept his motorcycle accident a secret due to the wide coverage that his burn accident had already received.
Most Memorable Moments In The Show
Now that “Jay Leno’s Garage” has said goodbye to TV, and there are no signs of it releasing any new episodes in the near future, it’s time to remember some of the most memorable and legendary moments that the show gave us throughout seven seasons.
Not many guests are as memorable as Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is also a long-time friend of Jay Leno. His first time in the show was in the third season, in which he and Jay discussed his hybrid Mercedes G-Wagon. Schwarzenegger commissioned the unique custom car to give electric-fueled technologies a try, previously refraining from doing so for not liking ‘the way most of them look’, he affirmed in the show
Later in the fourth season’s episode “Size Matters”, Schwarzenegger introduced the audience to his 1951 M-47 Patton Tank, which much to Jay’s admitted chagrin, was bigger and more imposing that his own 1959 Ferret Armoured Scout Car Mk2, which was described by the actor as ‘adorable’.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Proud owner of the world’s first electric Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen.Watch Jay Leno's Garage Thursday at 10p ET/PT on CNBC!
Posted by Jay Leno's Garage on Saturday, January 6, 2018
Schwarzenegger’s M-47 Patton was a sight to behold for its massive size, but the real magic was behind the wheel. Nowadays equipped with a Chrysler V12 Twin Turbo engine and having a horsepower of 810, this tank was initially built for combat in the Korean War, but was later bought by the Austrian Army. It was brought to the US in the 1990s by Schwarzenegger, who integrated it into his After School All Stars programs. The best part of the episode was undoubtedly when both men ran over a limousine with the tank, marking it for many as one of the most memorable and funny moments in the show.
One of the most memorable guests in “Jay Leno’s Garage” history was Joe Biden, who appeared in the show both as a Vice-President and later as the President of the US. For the second season’s episode “Love Stories” aired back in 2016, Biden talked about his car love, a dark green 1967 Corvette Stingray, which brings back lots of good memories for the then-second man in command of the US. According to Biden, the Corvette wasn’t his first car ever, but meant something special to him: ‘My dad didn’t have a lot of money, but he ran the largest Chevrolet dealership in the estate for years’, he said, recalling how his father told him he was going to fix his 1965 Pontiac Tempest and his then-fiancée’s 1963 Chevrolet as a wedding gift.
Much to the surprise of the couple, Biden Sr’s real gift turned out to be the 1967 Corvette, which has remained in the family ever since, and has nothing to envy from modern Corvettes condition-wise. Later in the 2022 episode “POTUS and the Next Gen Hot Rods”, Biden came back in the show’s seventh season’s finale to discuss electric cars with Jay, unknowingly becoming the last celebrity guest in “Jay Leno’s Garage” before the show’s cancellation.
Many unforgettable moments in “Jay Leno’s Garage” don’t involve celebrities but cars, which were so impressive that it was impossible to take our eyes off them. That’s what happened to the Pink Panthermobile, featured in the third season episode “Outside The Box”.
Designed by Ed Newton in 1969 using the animated series “The Pink Panther Show” as an inspiration the Pink Panthermobile was built over the chassis of an Oldsmobile Toronado, though that process wasn’t completed until 1976. It was equipped with what were the top-notch gadgets at the time, added to its fluffy interiors, diamond-like details, and an always necessary mini-bar.
At the time of its build, the Pink Panthermobile cost $100,000, which is calculated at around $500,000 in 2023. This figure doesn’t come as a surprise though, as the Panthermobile was considered the peak of luxury and flamboyance of its time, becoming a good representation of what that era was about: ‘It was the 1960s, people were “singin’, swingin’, lovin’ and huggin’,’, as Jay accurately described it in the show.
"Ahh… Now we are getting somewhere!" 🕵️
This very 60s Pink Panthermobile was built for “singin’, swingin’, lovin’ and huggin’"… and not necessarily drivin'.
From 1 – 10, how outrageous is this ride?
— Jay Leno's Garage (@LenosGarage) July 13, 2020
It wouldn’t be a good automotive show if motorcycles weren’t in it. Fortunately for us, not only Jay Leno took every good opportunity he had to talk about his favorite bikes, but he also prompted Keanu Reeves to do so. In the episode “Design of the Times” from the first season, Jay visited the Arch Motorcycle Company, a high-end bike manufacturer founded in 2011 by Reeves and his business partner Gard Hollinger. Characterized by their unique designs and high-quality engineering, the motorcycles built by Arch fuel every motorhead’s passion, including Reeves’.
Years before, Reeves had appeared in Jay’s previous show, “The Tonight Show” riding his Norton, so it was only a matter of time before a man as passionate about biking put all of that energy into giving to the industry he loves.
The project was undoubtedly risky, but Reeves admitted having ‘a revelation’ when he rode the first bike ever created by the company, the KRGT-1: ‘It was such a pleasurable riding experience, and I was looking at this and I thought ‘this has to be in the world’,’, Reeves said in the show. Later on, he and Jay took a ride to show off the Arch bikes in all their glory.
Jay Leno has driven and owned some of the most incredible pieces of auto in the world, but none could be compared to the Mars Rover. Officially called the most expensive car in the world, the Rover cost $2.5 billion, and was specially designed to run on the surface of Mars.
Although several Rover vehicles have been created since the 1970s, one of the most famous is Curiosity, launched in 2011 by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), followed almost a decade later by the Perseverance Mars Rovers. The former is most similar to the one featured in the show, and is stored in the Mars Yard at NASA headquarters.
While Jay was unable to ride the Mars Rover due to configuration reasons, he had the chance to control its non-intelligent twin auto named Scarecrow. That being said, it’s not every day that someone gets to see the most expensive car in the world up close, and for that, this episode from the second season is one to be remembered.
Jay Leno and Kevin Hart have too many things in common. Both are comedians, own astoundingly extensive car collections, and have a passion for autos of all types.
While it was only expected that both men had lots of topics to talk about, they preferred to take a ride on the 2017 Sherp ATV, a car specially designed to sort out the worst road conditions while keeping people safe, thanks to its sealed design. Though this massive vehicle catches people’s attention everywhere it goes, its versatility and controllable wheel functions make it very functional for all types of terrains, including soggy water and ice.
The Sherp ATV is a sight to behold, both for its imposing looks and functionality, but for Kevin and Jay, it was the best excuse to take an adrenaline-filled trip up in the mountains. Overall, to see such a unique car in action while enjoying all the good laughs that both comedians offered was a great experience.
Going down the line of unique and rarely seen cars, the Batman Tumbler featured in Christopher Nolan’s 2008 film “The Dark Knight” is undoubtedly one of the most special vehicles ever featured in “Jay Leno’s Garage”.
Although real-life Batmobiles replicas have existed since the 1930s, each one of them is distinguishable for its top-notch design and perfectly fitting vibe of the movies they were made for. It’s no different for Batman’s Tumbler, designed by Nolan and Nathan Crowley; it took over a year to build a prototype, which was subsequently followed by other six vehicles.
Though it’s unclear if all the cars were used in the movies, the Batman Tumbler featured in “Jay Leno’s Garage” is completely functional, and reached about 90kph on the movie’s set. Despite being a completely functional car, the Batman Tumbler is different from normal cars due to its modular parts, which could be removed, replaced, or fixed in just minutes.
The Batman Tumbler is recognized for its realistic design, though some features such as steaming real propane-fueled flames add that fantastic aspect necessary for a Batmobile – truly a car worth seeing for Batman fans and motorheads alike.
Jessi Combs and The Fastest Car
Back in the third season, “Jay Leno’s Garage” welcomed guest Jessi Combs, one of its most unforgettable guests ever. Besides hosting famous automotive shows such as “Overhaulin’”, fabricator and professional racer Jessi changed history by becoming the fastest woman on four wheels in 2016.
Knowing her experience behind the wheel, there was no one more fitting to drive the Bugatti Chiron, valued at $2.9 million, and considered at the time the fastest car on the market. Nonetheless, what made this specific car special wasn’t its speed, but the fact that it ‘moves the technology forward’, as Jay affirmed in the episode.
Unfortunately, a year after this episode aired, Jessi Combs was killed in a car crash while breaking the Guinness World Record in the land-speed category for females, a record she was posthumously awarded.
All of this makes Jessi Combs’ appearance in “Jay Leno’s Garage” an unforgettable one, especially for those who truly appreciate cars.