Martin Short Called Jimmy Fallon A Phony to His Face Four Years Before the ‘Tonight Show’ Horror Stories Came Out
A bombshell report published by Rolling Stone this morning included accounts from 16 Tonight Show staffers who accused Fallon of a pattern of abusive and erratic behavior, leaving us with the impression that working for Fallon is even more degrading and dehumanizing than watching him on TV.
As is customary whenever a comedy titan who has long been shielded by massive media institution is outed for bad behavior, the last few hours of Twitter have seen a deluge of disparaging Fallon stories and clips from former coworkers and comedy fans who have been waiting for the downfall of late-night’s least compelling host since Fallon succeeded Jay Leno on The Tonight Show in 2014.
One such video making the rounds is from a 2019 Tonight Show interview with Steve Martin and Martin Short in which the latter says to Fallon’s face, “This is the greatest show on television because there is no host in late-night who pretends to care as much as you do.”
Before this morning, Fallon’s most marketable trait was his ability to be completely inoffensive. Much like the similarly disgraced Ellen DeGeneres, Fallon’s Tonight Show sold a brand of cute, playful and surface-level humor that was late-night’s comfort food alternative to his more biting contemporaries. However, Fallon’s fake laugh, desk slaps and awkward arm touches struck his haters as hollow and performative, as Short so eloquently pointed out in the clip.
Later on in the same interview, Martin joins in on the ribbing, saying to Fallon, “You have such a clean image. That’s hard to do in today’s world. I suggest that, whatever you’re paying to National Inquirer, you should double it!” Well, it looks like Fallon’s last check finally bounced.