You may know Jimmy Fallon as the lovable, cheerful talkshow host of The Tonight Show, but there's a lot going on behind the scenes. Many media outlets make wild claims about both his personal life, and his talkshow. It seems there's a new controversy every month surrounding Fallon.
Rarely does he bring these issues up on air, because, as he's said, "It's not The Jimmy Fallon Show. It's The Tonight Show." Sure, he runs the ship, but it's not really appropriate to go off on his personal issues or rumors. Not only would it be strange, given the feel of the show, it's just not how Fallon rolls.
He's open and happy, but he's also strong. His feelings get hurt when he reads negative things about himself online, but he doesn't let it change who he is, or what types of jokes he wants to make. The allegations and rumors made about him, though evidence-based, are still nothing more than that — rumors. He's not on trial over anything. NBC has not come out and said that he's in danger of losing his job, but it certainly could head that direction if he doesn't tread carefully.
He's injured himself several times, been spotted partying time after time, and he's been seen arguing with his wife while on family outings. These things could be indicative of a slew of issues going on under the surface.
19 Gets Into Conflicts
As we've already heard from Horatio Sanz, Fallon has a history of getting into bar brawls. We all know how it is. When you party hard, things tend to get heated and escalate quickly in that setting. It doesn't seem to be a weekly issue, but it is something that Fallon has his name attached to. One time in particular, a customer at Niagra bar tweeted after seeing Jimmy get into a late-night fight with another guy at a bar. He said, "Fallon just got in a 'tiff' at Niagara Bar. Go NYC."
He even posted a picture of Fallon in a suit and tie being comforted by a woman with a crowd surrounding them, complete with a big buy in a FDNY sweatshirt guarding close by. One source said "There was some hostility from some people at the bar. Jimmy was not the aggressor, but he was caught up in it. It was broken up and Jimmy and his friends immediately left." We don't really believe that Fallon is some angry buffoon that goes around causing a ruckus. These problems arise when you're in the bar scene. The two simply go hand in hand. It's not like Jimmy goes out every night anyway, and we hope it stays that way.
18 Unusual Injuries
Let's face it, Jimmy Fallon is a klutz. I'm not really in any position to judge, because I'm right there with him. However, many people attribute his constant injuries to his alleged problem. Fallon reportedly severed a finger in June of 2015. Apparently, he tripped and his ring got caught. It wasn't technically called a broken finger, but rather, a "ring evulsion." He explained the situation on his show, saying,
"I tripped and fell in my kitchen on a braided rug that my wife loves, and I can't wait to burn it to the ground. My ring got caught on the countertop when I was going down, and stuck there and pulled my finger off."
Truly disgusting stuff, folks. This little mishap landed Fallon in ICU for 10 days and a 6-hour long intense surgery. Just two months, later he chipped a tooth while trying to open a bottle of scar cream for his finger. In October of 2015, he injured his other hand when he was at a party. Fallon also has no problem telling his viewers about his escapades and laughing it off. But people speculate that they're linked to excessive partying which he probably wouldn't explain on the show. Honestly, if you ask me, he's still a great person even if these claims are true.
17 He's Not Really Concerned With Offending People
Something that many fans adore about Fallon is his "realness." He doesn't give into pressure to joke about political issues, unless he wants to. It's not even that he's anti-PC or finds offending sensitive people funny, he just doesn't walk on eggshells constantly. Really, that's no way to live, anyway. Especially as a celebrity, since you're under constant scrutiny anyway.
Fallon has taken the higher road on several occasions and he's apologized in instances where he's offended people. But according to a few sources, as well as his Twitter page, he finds the whole thing kind of dumb. Once, when interviewing Chris Christie on his show, Fallon make a "fat joke" when Christie was telling a story about getting ice cream.
Christie jokingly got up and walked off stage, immediately coming back laughing. In today's world, this is viewed as extremely inappropriate and rude, regardless of the comedic nature and setting.
On another occasion, Kelly Ripa sent Jimmy a box of cookies. Jimmy tweeted the following, "Thank you for the cookies @KellyRipa. You are sweeter than diabetes #KimmelinBrooklyn" People on Twitter lost their minds over his diabetes joke. Fallon's response? Instead of replying something negative or even apologizing, he simply pinned a tweet he'd made that past January: "Twitter idea for 2017: find real things to be mad about." Bravo Jimmy, bravo.
16 He Doesn't Always Know What To Say
As we saw in Jimmy Fallon's interview with Cardi B on his show back in December of 2017, Jimmy doesn't always know what to say. He was fumbling for words throughout the segment. It was actually pretty funny to watch. As Time put it, "Jimmy Fallon has zero chill while interviewing Cardi B. [He] knows he's not worthy to be in Cardi B's presence."
Some publications were even more harsh. Vice wrote an article titled, "Cardi B should just replace Jimmy Fallon." Splinter News published an article that read, "Shutting Jimmy Fallon up is the greatest gift Cardi B gave us in 2017". According to Page Six, Fallon wants Cardi B back on soon. He said,
"She was so fun to work with and funny at rehearsals — had the whole crew laughing. I wish we could’ve had two hours."
Clearly he wasn't as frazzled as everyone made him out to be. It was probably due to cultural differences, or perhaps they didn't rehearse the episode beforehand. On the show, Fallon gifted Cardi B with a teddy bear wearing a t-shirt that said her catchphrase, "washpoppin," a bedazzled bottle, a faux leopard fur jacket and his children's book, Everything Is Mama. How sweet!
15 Party Boy
According to the New York Post, NBC executives have been worried about Fallon's bad habit for a while now. A bartender who frequently serves Fallon told the New York Post, "He's a mess. Everything you heard about [his problem] is true."
Fallon's former SNL cast mate, Horatio Sanz told Vulture last year that he and Fallon were "super functional" when they party. He also claimed that Jimmy got in several tiffs. "They say that kind of goes hand in hand with SNL [...] because it’s so stressful, you easily find yourself blowing off steam a lot."
Whenever Fallon is questioned about his problem, he brushes it off or straight up denies the allegations. In a recent interview with Us Magazine, Fallon said, "I could never do a day-to-day job if I was partying every night. That’s just kicking you when you’re down."
Many argue that his constant injuries are from his binges, but he always seems to have a story for each one. We'll go into that shortly, but ultimately, that's up to interpretation. Either way, rumors are whirling and a network insider told the New York Post that NBC's discussion surrounding Fallon's problem has "gone from being a whisper to a chatter".
14 Crawling On His Night Out
According to New York Post, Jimmy Fallon was caught partying at a bar in the West Village called Marie's Crisis, which is innocent enough, in itself. But apparently, other patrons of the bar reported that he was singing Katy Perry's "Walking on Air" while crawling on the bar. Absolutely hilarious! He also got on top of the piano, belting out "the theme from greatest American hero," as well as Billy Joel's, "Piano Man," and a cover of "Summer Nights." Marie's Crisis is a legendary gay piano bar, so surely he knew there would be pictures and videos. I highly doubt he was concerned with being spotted singing his heart out here, but it certainly adds to the media's fire regarding his alleged problem.
The New York Post used this night as evidence of his problem saying, "sources say NBC is worried that Fallon’s partying habits have become excessive. And while they’re not doing anything about it, yet, “it’s gone from being a whisper to a chatter,” said one industry insider of Fallon’s over-the-top behavior. This past January, patrons recorded that Fallon was a mess, belting out Katy Perry’s “Walking on Air” while literally crawling on the counter at West Village gay bar Marie’s Crisis." The New York Post goes on to name a few other mishaps, which really doesn't shine a positive light on Jimmy.
13 His Marriage
Media outlets have been claiming that Fallon's marriage is failing due to his partying ways and lack of involvement in his kids' lives. Some of it seems like a stretch to be totally honest, but it's worth mentioning. He's married, there's no doubt in my mind that he and his wife are going to get into little arguments. That goes hand in hand with marriage. Either way, it's definitely something that Fallon wouldn't dare mention on his show, and he certainly shouldn't. According to Ok!, on a recent family outing, Fallon was glued to his phone and that "proved to be the final straw for his wife-of-nine-years, Nancy Juvonen." "'Nancy snapped," a source told In Touch.
12 The Nicest Class Clown Ever
Jimmy Fallon's ninth grade math teacher, vice principal, and dean of students all showed up to the recording of his show before it premiered back in February of 2014. They wanted to get a glimpse of the star in action. His former math teacher, Mike Miller said,
“He was the class clown, there’s no doubt about it. He could crack the whole class up in the middle of the lesson.”
While there's nothing Jimmy should be embarrassed of by this, really, it's still something that most people dread. Looking back on your high-school days can really make you shudder. Thankfully, Fallon let it roll off his back, even roasting the trio. He pointed them out to the audience, and even made his old vice principal, Don Farris, sing baritone along with him during a routine. It was a sweet moment and it's easy to see how he became so successful after all of the nice things everyone had to say about him. A few weeks later, the vice principal found some letters of recommendation written for Fallon by the principal at the time. One read, "James has creative skills, and would be especially strong in the communications area. He functions well in front of large crowds." It sounds like everyone knew what he was capable of, even at a young age.
11 Trouble Behind The Scenes
According to Hollywood Reporter, there has been some trouble behind the scenes for a while now. In 2016, producer-writer, Gavin Purcell, left The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon to join Vox Media. Shortly after, Josh Lieb, a driving force in the entire operation, left for a Universal Television deal. Three people took Lieb's place: Gerard Bradford, Mike DiCenzo, Katie Hockmeyer. These changes coincided with Fallon's switch in personal publicists, from Claire Mercuri, to Matthew Hiltzik. Hiltzik is known for being a crisis manager for Brad Pitt and Ryan Lochte, though he's also just a regular manager to Katie Couric. Still, it left people wondering why all of these changes were taking place, especially when Hiltzik refused to comment.
Though his ratings were still far above competitors like ABC's Jimmy Kimmel, and CBS's Stephen Colbert both on cable and on Youtube and Facebook, things were appearing to go south around this time. Kimmel and Colbert were making headlines for political zingers, while Fallon was under fire for "humanizing" Trump during a recent interview.
In March of 2017, Fallon's head writer, A.D. Miles, was stepping down from his eight-year position. Miles said, "Riding Jimmy Fallon’s coattails for the past eight years has given me all the confidence I need to strike out on my own and work on a movie with Jimmy Fallon."
By this point, Variety claimed it was a "precarious time" for Fallon, stating that he "has been in a ratings battle with Late Show host Stephen Colbert for weeks." There is so much going on behind the scenes that we don't know.
10 Ratings Are Low
Yup, as we've mentioned, Fallon's ratings are reportedly low compared to before. It seems it's all snowballing from one issue to another. Some sources claim that his excessive partying is to blame for his loss in viewership, while others think it has more to do with his interview with Trump. During his interview with the President, Fallon jokingly tousled Trump's hair, and was as friendly and talkative with him as he is with anyone else. Apparently, that didn't sit right with people. Fallon came out and spoke about the mishap, telling The New York Times,
"They have a right to be mad. If I let anyone down, it hurt my feelings that they didn't like it. I got it. I didn't do it to humanize him. I almost did it to minimize him. I didn't think that would be a compliment: 'He did the thing that we all wanted to do.'"
Thankfully, he followed that up by saying, "I don't want to be bullied into not being me, and not doing what I think is funny. Just because some people bash me on Twitter, it's not going to change my humor or my show." Classic Fallon — he never means to genuinely upset anyone, but in the same breath, he doesn't want to change his sense of humor simply because others don't like it. Regardless, it's affecting his ratings, and many speculate that he may be on the way out. I certainly hope not. While others may get enjoyment from endless Trump jokes, some of us like to watch television to forget that he's the President.
9 Personal Struggles
According to The Enquirer and gossip on the comments section of several Reddit posts, people are under the impression that Fallon was under some kind of influence. The Enquirer claims that "a television informant" told them the following, "He did it pretty regularly during SNL but backed off when he got the Weekend Update anchor chair." The source then said that he picked it back up after his new gig as the host of The Tonight Show.
"Jimmy started doing it regularly about two months into the show because he was so exhausted. I’ve walked in on him in the restroom at parties and stuff a few times. Or when he’s invited a few of us out. He doesn’t try to hide it. He shares with some friends, and a couple of other writers." The Enquirer claims, "Jimmy also asked another insider whether he had any at an Academy Awards party in Hollywood several years ago. Trawling the event for it, he pleaded with actress Kirsten Dunst for it, but she couldn’t service his needs." Though we're unsure whether this is true or not, people sure do seem to believe it. Fallon is so excitable and happy all the time, so naturally, fans are quick to point to his struggles.
8 None For Me, Please
It's unclear why this happened, but we can assume that Fallon is well aware of his reputation. In the October 2015 issue of Vanity Fair, all the best late-night-show hosts got together for a photoshoot. Every single one of the men involved are shown holding a glass. All except Fallon. Well, Fallon and James Cordon, who is seen holding a juice box, just for the laughs.
The man who photographed the night show hosts, Sam Jones said, “The Jimmy thing was a little interesting because I don’t know that everyone got the memo that we were going to have drinks. We ended up shooting that a few different ways and in the end, he decided, ‘I don’t want to have one in the picture.’"
It makes you wonder if his publicist advised against holding a glass or maybe he was trying to avoid it at this time and found that holding a glass would be too tempting. While no one knows the reason behind Fallon's refusal to hold a glass for the photoshoot, it's certainly interesting, to say the least. Honestly, I'm not sure if it would have been more beneficial to be holding the glass. No one would think anything of it, when everyone else is as well.
7 Faltering Under The Pressure
An insider from The Tonight Show told The New York Post that Fallon may be faltering under the pressure of being a huge success.
"There is so much money at stake, the pressure is enormous. [Besides doing the show daily], they're looking for the next viral thing to hit. He has to do calls with affiliates and sponsors. He has no outlet. He's young. He's still learning. You forget he hasn't been doing this 10 years."
His workload is enormous, he's young, he has a wife and two kids. Fallon has a lot on his plate. This insider didn't do much to convince me that Fallon is faltering, but that's certainly what they were insinuating. If Fallon truly is feeling the enormous pressure of everything he does, he handles himself well. It would definitely explain why he might be partying a little too frequently, or having issues at home. With so much to do and only so many hours in the day, it's not really shocking that Jimmy may be a little in over his head. He's 43 years old, which is considerably young considering his success. He's only been hosting The Tonight Show since 2014. Finding a work life balance doesn't happen overnight.
6 Fake Laughter
Many people slam Fallon for his laugh, calling it "forced" and "fake." Again, I hate to side with Fallon at every turn, but even if this were true, can you really blame him? There's no doubt in my mind that some of his laughs are fake. How can you honestly give a full-bellied laugh every single time someone says a joke that you already knew was coming. It's not something he wants to admit, but it simply has to be true. His fans and friends have his back though, claiming that Fallon genuinely is just a happy and friendly person. I'm sure that's true, but that doesn't mean his laugh is always one hundred percent genuine.
There are countless compilations on Youtube, full of videos capturing Fallon's famous, "fake laugh." There's even a video titled, "Jimmy Fallon Fake Laughing Obnoxiously Through An Entire Interview With Ryan Gosling". When asked why he appears to be such a "kiss-ass that loves everyone," Fallon responded by saying,
"My job is, again, is to make everyone look good, no matter who it is, whether you're a politician or whatever it is. We have people on that people don't like. I know that. But that's not my job. You make your own opinion.
I can just show you the best person that they are and try to bring out their more personal side and play with them."
5 Trouble Having Kids
Jimmy Fallon actually has talked about using a surrogate openly, but you can tell it's a sensitive subject for him and his wife. I mean, of course it is. It's a very delicate matter. Fallon even did an interview on The Today Show that aired on August 13, 2013 to set the record straight. He said he and his wife struggled with fertility for 5 years before turning to gestational surrogacy to welcome their beautiful daughter Winnie into the world. "We've tried a bunch of things. Anyone who's tried will know, it's just awful." He and his wife kept their attempts at conceiving a secret for the most part.
"We tried before, we told people and then it didn't happen and it's just really depressing. It's really hard on everybody. We said, 'We're not going to tell anybody.' It'd be just more fun if it's just private between me and my wife. And then we get to introduce her to everybody."
They welcomed their second daughter using a gestational surrogate as well, and he thanked her, the nurses, and doctors on air soon after she was born. He's not secretive about the fact that they struggle with fertility, but he doesn't delve much deeper than that. One can only imagine just how hard that is on their relationship.
4 Doesn't Even Believe In Himself
According to many disgruntled fans and media outlets, Jimmy Fallon gives off the appearance of not believing in himself. Between his fake laugh, excessive partying, and the sources that claim he's faltering under the pressures of his home life and job, it leads many to believe that he doesn't have the same motivation that he used to.
This lack of motivation would go hand in hand with not believing in himself, his abilities, or his show anymore. However, don't get it twisted, he's still doing very well for himself, and NBC executives have said that regardless of his setbacks and loss in ratings, he's still pulling in great numbers. The New York Times had this to say about his current career situation:
"He is weathering the most tumultuous period in his tenure there — a predicament for which he has himself to thank, and one that raises the question of whether the multitalented but apolitical Mr. Fallon can ride out the current era of politicized, choose-your-side entertainment, when he just wants to have a good time."
He really does leave you wondering what "side" he typically agrees with, and does he even know? He's either private about his views, or he doesn't lean one way or the other.
3 Warned By NBC To "Cut Back"
According to Page Six, Jimmy Fallon was warned by NBC executives to cut back on his partying ways, especially after his back to back injuries. An NBC Insider said,
“There were fears that Fallon was out of control and something could happen while he’s out partying. Things got so serious at one stage that execs feared that Jimmy was splitting up with his wife over his partying ways, but they patched things up.” However, Bob Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment told Page Six, "Jimmy is one of NBC’s biggest assets, and we’re extremely proud that The Tonight Show continues to be the late-night leader in all metrics, including ratings and social-media awareness. He’s in a class by himself, and we’re also looking forward to him hosting the Golden Globes in January.
As a producer and star he delivers over 200 hours of television a year, and any suggestion that we have concerns about his behavior or have given him any kind of ‘warning’ is completely false."
Still, the rumors keep on swirling. We want to believe Greenblatt, but honestly, why would he tell the truth on that. Friends of Jimmy's have his back, claiming that he can handle himself, and he knows what he's doing. Others share different opinions. At the end of the day, no one really knows whether or not Fallon got a slap on the wrist, and he surely won't talk about it on his show.
2 Denies He Has A Problem
Jimmy has been denying the claims that he parties too much for a while. As we mentioned earlier, Fallon told The Times that he could never do a day-to-day job if he was partying every night. Doing it every day is not always the main indication that things are out of control. Getting loud and rowdy and injuring yourself are all indicators of a problem. Fallon also had this to say about his alleged problem.
"If we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it right. There will be a day when we can allow ourselves to be tired. I don’t know when it is, but it can’t be now."
Again, it's all up to interpretation. Maybe he truly doesn't have a problem. Maybe he went through a rough patch. But denying that he has a problem doesn't really mean much, considering many people with the same issue do just that. He's under constantly public scrutiny, so it's got to be tough, knowing you can't go out and party after these claims are made, without people making wild accusations.
1 He Has Many Haters
As you can tell, there are plenty of people out there who don't like Jimmy Fallon. They don't like his laugh, his cheerfulness, his demeanor, his impressions. The list goes on. What's new, though? There will always be someone out there who doesn't like you. The biggest takeaway from this is that people dislike him for being happy go lucky because they feel it's all just a ruse. But if you ask anyone that knows Jimmy personally, they all will tell you the same thing — that's just how he is. He genuinely is a happy and lovable person.
People call him a puppy dog, saying he's a "kiss-ass" that loves everyone. To which he proudly says, "I do!" Though people may not believe him, he truly is an excitable person. It's why all of these allegations pop up in the first place. People assume because he's so hyped up all the time, he must be on something. He goes out for some fun and hurts himself because he's having a good time, and he's labeled as a drunk. He's nice to Trump on his show, and people lose their minds over it. I mean, what do they expect? Trump didn't make an appearance to be put on trial. He went to The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. Jimmy delivered exactly what most people would expect on that night. It was completely in character.
These issues bother Fallon, as he's said he doesn't like seeing negative things written about him because it hurts his feelings and makes him feel down on himself. But he keeps moving forward, being the same lovable person and not letting it get to him. You won't see him on The Tonight Show, going on about the rumors and issues people have with him. He just keeps being him, and that's admirable.