The Tonight Show is heading into a state of chaos now that the rumor mill is painting its host, Jimmy Fallon, in a negative light.
Fallon, whose Tonight Show has been an inarguable success since he took over for Jay Leno, is said to have a few more demons in his closet than audiences suspected from the smiling impressionist-funnyman.
Part of the success of Fallon’s version of the long-running nighttime talk show has little to do with talk and more to do with action.
His skits are fun and easily digestible, and perfect for an audience that is more likely to catch the highlights on YouTube the next day than to watch it live.
Not that Fallon’s live Tonight Show viewership has suffered. People are still very much tuning in, but he’s as successful on the Internet as he is on television.
That’s why it can sound a little crazy to even be talking about ditching Jimmy Fallon at this point in the game, but if reports from sites like the Daily Mail are true, it could be the best thing for all parties.
The Mail caught images of a disheveled Fallon with his wife and child after his latest injury, and he certainly doesn’t look like the Jimmy everyone knows and loves.
Sources told the news site that Fallon had injured himself three times in a four-month period — some of which audience members have seen the remnants of on television — and that it is mostly due to excessive drinking.
It’s even to the point that, as one Inquisitr story reports, NBC is on the verge of confronting him and pressuring him into rehab.
Of the injuries that Fallon has reportedly experienced this year, the latest one at the end of October included him falling hand-first into broken glass. Another incident earlier in the year involved him catching his wedding ring on a table corner and almost severing the finger from his hand.
In both incidents, alcohol was reportedly involved, though it wasn’t clear or confirmed how much Fallon had had, only that he had been drinking.
What can be confirmed, however, is that he’s hurting himself around alcohol more frequently and severely than most of the population ever would, and mixing that fact with the pressure that comes from putting on a nightly talk show and being a new dad, it all could be a recipe for disaster.
As the New York Post reported earlier, “sources [close to the Tonight Show] say NBC is worried that Fallon’s drinking has become excessive,” and even though they are not planning an intervention at this time, “It’s gone from being a whisper to a chatter.”
(This coming from an unnamed “industry insider” close to the network.)
It could very well be that Fallon is not dealing with his mounting pressures as well privately as he is in front of the cameras, but if you follow this link to the Daily Mail‘s pictures, you will see that something is clearly amiss.
If Fallon isn’t in the position to deal with this pressure, then it might be time to think about other options. One of the most obvious is to give Jimmy some extended time off and have a guest host (or several) fill in until he can get his personal demons under control.
At the same time, that still sort of puts a timetable on Fallon’s “recovery” efforts, whatever those may be, and it thrusts him in the position of “seeking help” due to external influences — something that isn’t usually effective when it comes to dealing with alcoholics or drug addicts.
That’s why some are suggesting that the Tonight Show needs to name a new host in the near future and give Jimmy the time and the space that he needs.
But what do you think, readers? Is this all much ado about nothing, or are the accidents more than coincidence? And if so, is it time for the Tonight Show to cut ties? Sound off below.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]