Jimmy Fallon’s alcoholic behavior and Horatio Sanz: The Tonight Show host controversy explained

Jimmy Fallon at the People's Choice Awards 2018.
Jimmy Fallon is facing cancellation as he trends for questionable behavior. Pic credit: ©ImageCollect.com/Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency

Jimmy Fallon is again making the news for his alleged drunken behavior on The Tonight Show.

Readers unfamiliar with the controversy might not recall that in 2015, the former SNL star was accused of drinking excessively while handling his late-night host duties.

A new expose has cropped up by Rolling Stone, detailing the same allegations but much worse.

And the result has the online community resurfacing all the controversies surrounding the NBC late-night star.

What are all the controversies around Jimmy Fallon? And why is SNL alum Horatio Sanz also being thrown in?

Here is what readers should know about the controversies surrounding Jimmy Fallon.

Jimmy Fallon’s alcoholic and drunk behavior in the past

Despite his friendly demeanor, Fallon has dealt with controversies before, such as a blackface sketch. The news surrounding Fallon and alcohol consumption blazed like an inferno in 2015

There were reports of the comedian in bar brawls and repeated incidents of Fallon injuring himself to an unfortunate extreme.

Seth Herzog, Fallon’s warm-up comedian, told New York Magazine (via Vulture), “Everyone in New York has a Jimmy Fallon story,” adding, “It’s always like, ‘In 2000, Jimmy threw this dude out of a bar, or poured his beer on someone, or got on a table and sang a song.'”

Coincidentally, Horatio Sanz even chimed in on the behavior to the magazine, saying it was an SNL curse. To the mag, Sanz says, they “were superfunctioning alcoholics, definitely.”

The SNL costar adds, “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.”

Another Fallon friend added, “Jimmy generally goes out with very, very close friends and people from the show. He’s not rolling up to 1Oak [a scene-y bottle-service club]. But he likes to drink. He likes to go out.”

And quite literally, the list goes on.

His alleged problematic behavior is now being accused of causing issues at The Tonight Show, with claims of a toxic workplace.

The Tonight Show’s toxic work conditions due to Jimmy Fallon being an alcoholic

Krystie Lee Yandoli of Rolling Stone details an extensive story told by 16 employees of The Tonight Show.

In the write-up, she discusses workplace accounts of “erratic” behavior that some of the staffers described as so troubling that it caused mental health issues.

One employee said, “Everybody walked on eggshells, especially showrunners.” The Tonight Show staffer adds, “You never knew which Jimmy we were going to get and when he was going to throw a hissy fit. Look how many showrunners went so quickly. We know they didn’t last long.”

The report acknowledges Fallon has gone through a revolving door of showrunners. The count is nine, and he has been hosting since 2014. The resulting departures are said to be because each one does not know how to “say no” to the ongoing mess.

Employees of the NBC show also discuss at length the inappropriate feedback given to writers. Such examples thrown at his sketch creatives included “Are you OK? Seriously, do you need help?”

Another note given to a staffer said, “Ugh, lame. What is going on with you?”

Rolling Stone also reports that dressing rooms were commonly dubbed among employees as “Crying tooms.”

The environment was said to be so stressful that it caused suicidal ideation among some of the workers.

“Mentally, I was in the lowest place of my life. I didn’t want to live anymore. I thought about taking my own life all the time,” said one of the Tonight Show staffers.

Since the Rolling Stone report, NBC responded that things have changed since the new showrunner, Chris Miller, stepped in for the role. The network source says, “He’s brought a renewed enthusiasm and positive energy to the show. Chris prides himself on being available to the staff and a transparent leader. He’s exactly what the show needed.”

But how does the Horatio Sanz controversy connect?

Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz controversy

The inappropriate party scene surrounding the SNL star and his costars from the sketch show dates back, according to a lawsuit against Horatio Sanz. Only here, it’s more unsettling.

The individual identified as Jane Doe on various online platforms from the state of Pennsylvania has alleged that Sanz engaged in grooming behavior towards her when she was a junior in high school. Even ABC News reportedly possesses photographs of the accuser with Fallon and other individuals during the time that The Tonight Show host was still affiliated with SNL.

Fallon, Lorne Michaels, and NBC are listed as requested defendants in the suit. When the suit was settled in November 2022, the defendants made no admission of wrongdoing. Sanz continues to deny all allegations brought by Jane Doe to this day, per his lawyers.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments