More than a dozen current and former staffers of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” are speaking out about an alleged toxic and chaotic work environment fostered by the Emmy-winning host.
NBC’s hit late-night talk show — hosted by the 48-year-old since 2014 — has been a toxic place for years, according to two current and 14 former employees, who described their experiences to Rolling Stone in a bombshell report published Thursday.
Fallon, who first reached TV superstar status as a cast member of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” in 1998, is known for his fun personality, charming interviews and celebrity friendships.
However, several people said Fallon’s alleged mistreatment of staff has resulted in a “pretty glum atmosphere” — a work environment described by one former employee as a dream job that turned into “a nightmare very quickly.”
Some employees told the magazine that most people who work backstage at the “Tonight Show” are well aware of “good” and “bad Jimmy days.”
They said the tense environment is the result of Fallon’s erratic behavior added to ever-changing leadership — which has led many behind the scenes to live in a constant state of fear.
“Everybody walked on eggshells, especially showrunners,” a former employee said. “You never knew which Jimmy we were going to get and when he was going to throw a hissy fit.”
Several former staffers said working at the show negatively impacted their mental health, including four who said they were in therapy and three who said they experienced suicidal thoughts as a result of the toxic working environment.
In one specific incident, two employees said Fallon scolded a crew member in charge of cue cards during a taping with Jerry Seinfeld — and only apologized because the comedian told him to do so.
However, in a statement sent to the publication after the article went live, Seinfeld called the magazine’s version of the story “stupid” and an “idiotic twisting of events.”
An NBC spokesperson defended the show in a statement to Rolling Stone.
“We are incredibly proud of ‘The Tonight Show,’ and providing a respectful working environment is a top priority,” the spokesperson said, without mentioning Fallon.
The Daily News reached out to reps for Fallon and NBC for further comment. A spokesperson for the network said NBC had no other comment besides what it provided to Rolling Stone.
“The Tonight Show” is currently off the air due to the Writers Guild of America strike, which has been ongoing since early May.