An article published Thursday accuses so-called comedian Jimmy Fallon of creating a toxic workplace culture, and being drunk or otherwise intoxicated on set.
The story deep-dives into the “good Jimmy days” and “bad Jimmy days” Fallon creates on the set of “The Tonight Show.” And the bad days sound insane.
During one incident in 2017, Fallon’s behavior was dismissive, erratic and irritable enough to make his employees believe he was so intoxicated he was about to destroy his career. During rehearsal in front of his studio audience, Fallon seemed confused and couldn’t remember changes he’d made to jokes just seconds prior.
“I was like, ‘Oh, my God, he [seems] drunk. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. This could be awful — this could be the end of the show right here,'” a staffer told Rolling Stone.
Two current and 14 former employees for “The Tonight Show” told the outlet Fallon’s workplace has been toxic for years. And it’s a top-down problem that has Fallon at the head and an “ever-changing leadership” team below, who can’t seem to say no to the host’s antics.
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— KAY SMYTHE (@KaySmythe) August 30, 2023
One former employee described their time on the show as “glum,” with other alleging they were belittled and intimidated by both their bosses and Fallon alike. And many were scared of his inconsistent behavior and random “outbursts.”
So awful was the environment Fallon created that people regularly joked about “wanting to kill themselves” and called the guest dressing rooms the office “crying rooms,” the report continued. One staffer said their suicidal ideation became a common occurrence while under Fallon’s leadership, and another lost 20 pound due to stress.
“It’s a bummer because it was my dream job,” one former staffer told Rolling Stone. “Writing for late night is a lot of people’s dream jobs, and they’re coming into this and it becomes a nightmare very quickly. It’s sad that it’s like that, especially knowing that it doesn’t have to be that way.”
And maybe it won’t be that way much longer. Of more than 50 “Tonight Show” employees Rolling Stone spoke to, not a single one had a positive thing to say about Fallon. And neither did his employer, NBC. Given how clearly widespread this reputation is, it’s unclear whether he’ll have a career in the coming weeks and months.
— KAY SMYTHE (@KaySmythe) September 7, 2023
Fallon’s antics aren’t just common knowledge to those working on the show. Fallon’s reputation in the industry has been pretty for rough for as long as I can recall. (RELATED: Jimmy Fallon Asks For Elon’s Help After False Rumor That He’s Dead Spreads. Musk Responds Brilliantly)
A source told me several years ago that he was waiting outside of Radio City, trying to memorize lines for a huge audition. He had the script in his hand, and was waiting until the last possible moment to go inside.
Fallon walked out of the building, grabbed the script from the source’s hand and scribbled an illegible signature of some sort across the lines. Needless to say, the source wasn’t able to read the lines he needed for the audition, and lost out on a potentially career-changing role.