He’s one of TV’s favorite talk show hosts known for popular celebrity segments and making audiences laugh.
But behind the scenes, NBC bosses at The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon once held concerns about the presenter’s ‘out-of-control’ drinking.
Sources close to the show were worried ‘something bad will happen’ after a series of incidents – including one where he nearly severed his finger in horrific accident.
Now, he’s facing serious accusations from colleagues who claim his ‘erratic’ behavior is creating a toxic work environment – though a source close to show says these are historic and ‘everyone has moved on’.
Some of the most significant issues raised in a searing piece by Rolling Stone are alleged to have taken place between 2015 and 2020 – about the same time Fallon made headlines for his partying habits.
‘It was like, if Jimmy is in a bad mood, everyone’s day is f**ked,’ one former employee says
- Claims emerged from 16 current and former employees about a series of issues at The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon
- They claim the star’s ‘hissy-fits’ forced them to sob in ‘crying rooms’, made their hair fall out and triggered suicidal thoughts
- Concerns allege the star’s ‘erratic’ behavior and ‘outbursts’ have created an ugly environment behind the scenes
- It’s claimed Fallon’s ‘outbursts’ and inconsistent mood swings trickle down to other bosses, including varying showrunners at the helm over nine years
- An NBC spokesperson said the network is ‘incredibly proud’ of the show, but acknowledged ‘we have had employees raise issues’
In October of 2015, the NY Post published a story quoting sources who alleged NBC was worried his drinking had become ‘excessive’ after he fell and dropped a bottle of Jägermeister while receiving the Harvard Lampoon’s Elmer Award for Excellence in Humor.
‘There [were] pools of blood everywhere,’ he said when telling his studio audience about the incident once recovered, donning Sesame Street Band-Aids.
At the time, the publication claimed sources were ‘worried that Fallon’s drinking’ had become ‘excessive’.
It was the comedian’s third injury in a matter of months after he nearly severed his finger just a few months earlier in June.
Fallon spent 10 days in the ICU after his wedding ring caught on the countertop when he tripped over a rug. He required a six-hour surgery to fix his hand.
‘Tripped and caught my fall (good thing)!’ he tweeted that day. ‘Ring caught on side of table almost ripped my finger off (bad thing).’
Then two months later, he chipped his front tooth when trying to open a jar of scar-tissue-repair gel for his finger.
Fallon later refuted there were any issues with his social life, telling the New York Times in 2017, saying: ‘I could never do a day-to-day job if I was drinking every night. That’s just kicking you when you’re down.’
But two employees told Rolling Stone they saw him under the influence at work during this time.
Another two workers believed they smelled alcohol on his breath when he entered an elevator with them during the day on separate occasions in 2019 and 2020.
Eight other employees told the publication his energy and attitude would be dependent on if he was hungover.
It was also claimed Fallon’s inconsistent behavior, which has included ‘outbursts’ toward workers, is the starting point for a ‘pretty glum atmosphere’.
‘It was like, if Jimmy is in a bad mood, everyone’s day is f**ked,’ one former employee says.
‘People wouldn’t joke around in the office, and they wouldn’t stand around and talk to each other. It was very much like, focus on whatever it is that you have to do because Jimmy’s in a bad mood, and if he sees that, he might fly off.’
Fallon seen in London on September 6 just days before the allegations surfaced
A Rolling Stone investigation by Krystie Lee Yandoli revealed the claims against Fallon and The Tonight Show
The talk show host is known for his hilarious anecdotes on screen but behind the scenes, concerns have been raised over Fallon’s ‘erratic’ behavior at work
A source close to the Tonight Show said while there may have been issues in the past, the allegations are historic and changes have been made.
told DailyMail.com: ‘The things being reported in this article happened years ago and just aren’t reflective of the atmosphere today.
‘Nobody is denying that things happened in the past, but any previous issues have been dealt with and everyone has moved on since then.
‘A lot of these are old anecdotes that have already been reported and it’s unclear to everyone why they’re being brought up again years later.
‘So many current staff members have positive things to say about the show but they aren’t being given a chance.
‘This isn’t who Jimmy is and this isn’t in any way what the show is like today.’
While The Tonight Show, which is produced by Universal Television, Broadway Video and Electric Hot Dog – Fallon’s production company, is currently on hold due to the writers’ strike, it was renewed by NBC until 2026.
In a statement, an NBC spokesperson said The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon is no different to anywhere else.
‘We are incredibly proud of The Tonight Show, and providing a respectful working environment is a top priority,’ the spokesperson said.
‘As in any workplace, we have had employees raise issues; those have been investigated and action has been taken where appropriate.
‘As is always the case, we encourage employees who feel they have experienced or observed behavior inconsistent with our policies to report their concerns so that we may address them accordingly.’