Jimmy Fallon is undoubtedly the king of late night television. His ratings and popularity in the Internet are normally higher than those of the still very apt and funny Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel. However, it seems there might be a darker side to Fallon’s popularity. The New York Post is reporting NBC, the network that airs The Tonight Show, is worried about Fallon’s drunk antics.
In just four months, the beloved comedian has suffered three injuries, and although just one of them is known to be alcohol related, there seems to be something rotten in the house of Fallon. Fallon’s reputation as a drinker is not a new thing. He has been captured on camera many times at late night dive bars, highly inebriated and partying until early morning hours. In fact, it seems Fallon’s drinking goes back to his SNL days. Horatio Sanz, a former SNL cast member with Fallon, admitted in an interview with New York Magazine that at one point during their successful SNL tenure they “were super functioning alcoholics, definitely . . . They say that kind of goes hand in hand with ‘SNL,’ some kind of substance-abuse issues, because it’s so stressful, you easily find yourself blowing off steam a lot.”
Now Fallon’s responsibilities have increased five-fold. While SNL implied making one show per week, Fallon’s Tonight Show runs daily during the week. That means five shows a week. Five shows in which he has to perform stunts, sing, play games, and interview a slew of guests. If the show wasn’t enough, Fallon is a recent father of two. While this is no secret to Tonight Show fans, it does beg the question of when Fallon finds time to spend with his wife and kids.
NBC officials are happy with Fallon. They recently renewed his contract to run until 2021. However, the bumpy and accident-ridden past couple of months (and perhaps the arrival of a more mature Stephen Colbert to CBS) are making the questions about Jimmy’s relation with alcohol a little more relevant.
Fallon will stay at the show, that’s for sure, but whether he can turn the ship around and find a new way to blow off steam is a question he might need to answer soon. After two injured hands and a chipped tooth in three months, his body might run out before his contract.