Since taking over NBC’s late-night flagship “The Tonight Show” from Jay Leno in February 2014, Jimmy Fallon has kept the show firmly at the top of the late-night ratings. But according to a new report, insiders at the network have become concerned that Fallon has been celebrating his success a little too hard.
The New York Post reports that Fallon’s fondness for drinking and partying has made him “one of NBC’s biggest worries,” with two recent hand injuries possibly signaling a more serious problem.
The latest injury, which we reported last week, happened when Fallon threw a bottle of Jagermeister and then landed on the broken glass, according to his own account.
“It’s the party guy’s third injury in four months, and sources say NBC is worried that Fallon’s drinking has become excessive,” the Post reports. “And while they’re not doing anything about it — yet — ‘It’s gone from being a whisper to a chatter,’ says one industry insider of Fallon’s over-the-top behavior.”
Back in June, Fallon, 41, spent 10 days in the hospital with a more serious hand injury, after catching his wedding ring on a countertop at home. The Post notes: “Prior to that injury, he had been out dining and posing with wine-drinking fans at Upper East Side Italian restaurant Scalinatella.”
A less widely publicized injury reportedly occurred at home following the June hand injury. “Two months later, Fallon high-tailed it to the dentist for a chipped front tooth, which he says he got, ironically, while trying to open a jar of scar-tissue-repair gel to treat his damaged digit,” the Post reports.
The report notes that Fallon, who is married and has two young daughters, has been the subject of a series of media reports focusing on his partying, since before any of the recent injuries occurred.
“There was April 2014 at the East Village dive bar Niagara, where Fallon was allegedly involved in a brawl after a Thursday night taping of ‘The Tonight Show.’ (The next evening, he managed to rally and partied at a Chelsea watering hole until the early morning, buying shots of vodka for the entire bar),” the publication reports. “This past January, patrons recorded a clearly inebriated Fallon belting out Katy Perry’s ‘Walking on Air’ while literally crawling on the bar at West Village gay bar Marie’s Crisis.”
The report quotes a number of sources recounting tales of Fallon’s escapades on the town, with one source concluding: “Everything you’ve heard [about his behavior] is true.”
Seth Herzog, Fallon’s warm-up comic and also a friend of the host, adds: “Everyone in New York has a Jimmy Fallon story.”
But Fallon’s dedication to the grueling “Tonight Show” schedule remains unquestioned. The report notes that NBC recently extended his contract by 3-1/2 years, to fall 2021. In a recent statement, an NBC spokesperson said:
“Jimmy Fallon is a highly valued member of the NBC family who is both a tireless worker and an extraordinarily gifted performer.
“His dedication in putting on a great show each and every night is unparalleled, and that is reflected in the large amount of viewers who tune in — he frequently outrates the broadcast competition combined. We are proud of his accomplishments on and off camera and look forward to working with him for many years to come.”