Sixteen current and former staffers spoke up on Jimmy Fallon's “erratic behavior” behind the scenes of The Tonight Show. They described a workplace where there were “good Jimmy days” and “bad Jimmy days,” where Fallon's mood could change dramatically.
One incident in 2017 was particularly concerning when Fallon appeared confused during rehearsal. The Tonight Show employees said he crossed out jokes on his cue cards and seemed inattentive to the performance. Some staff members even suspected he might have been intoxicated.
These accounts shed light on a toxic work environment that several current and former employees allege has persisted for years. Many have reported feeling belittled, intimidated, and fearful of Fallon's outbursts.
They claim that Jimmy Fallon's unpredictable behavior behind The Tonight Show has contributed to the show's unstable leadership. It had 9 showrunners in the past nine years.
Some employees revealed that their mental health suffered during their time on the show. There were thoughts of “wanting to kill themselves” and the use of “crying rooms” to cope with alleged mistreatment from the host.
The Tonight Show's former staffer submitted their stories anonymously due to fear of retaliation. But some of them held various positions on the show, including production crew members and writers.
As of the moment, no positive comments about working with Jimmy Fallon among over 50 current and former Tonight Show employees surfaced. The showrunners also chose not to express public support.
However, NBC spokesperson defended the show's commitment to a respectful work environment and addressing concerns as they arise.
Now, former employees highlight a pervasive culture of fear and instability and call for accountability from both Jimmy Fallon, The Tonight Show and NBC.