It's hard to fathom the idea that anyone hosting #TheTonightShow is actually at a low point in their career, but nevertheless, that's been the word on the street about show host #JimmyFallon for the past several months now. After his highly criticized interview with then-Republican candidate Donald Trump, Fallon has undergone harsh criticism from both sides of the political aisle, and even seen a slight drop in ratings. In addition to that professional pressure, his personal life came under fire as well back in October 2016 when the New York Post published a story about his alleged excessive drinking.
It's no secret that Fallon's always been a party animal. But the expose-type story from New York Post painted a darker picture, indirectly quoting unnamed sources to say that the pressure at The Tonight Show was driving Fallon to drink more and more. They referenced numerous stories from Page Six, detailing random bar-sightings and second-hand stories of Fallon's drinking escapades around New York City. While the story offered very little new information, it painted Fallon in a precarious light, claiming that NBC execs were "concerned" that his drinking would negatively impact his work.
Now, Fallon has come forward in a new story published in the New York Times and scoffed at the suggestion that his drinking was anything to be concerned about. He commented on that particular New York Post piece:
"I could never do a day-to-day job if I was drinking every night. That’s just kicking you when you’re down."
In regard to all the backlash he's received, Fallon admits that he takes the criticism pretty hard, but he won't let it deter him or his career:
"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."
As for those nameless NBC officials that came forward before to disparage Fallon in the media, they're nowhere to be found. Chief executive of NBCUniversal Steve Burke had this to say about Fallon's performance:
"That red-hot performance was almost certain to end at some point, but he’s still head and shoulders above his competition, creatively."
By virtue of being one in a long line of hosts for one of the most famous shows on television, Fallon will always be incurring comparisons with the previous hosts of the show as well as his competitors. But at the moment, at least, he's fiercely committed to doing his best to preserve the success of The Tonight Show:
"I don’t half-ass it. 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."