The double life of Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon is the lovable king of late night television. He feels like the buddy you want to invite to all the barbecues. He's that guy who can effortlessly distinguish between funny and offensive; the every man who bridges the gap between the stars and the rest of us. It's easy to forget that the self-deprecating host of The Tonight Show is rich and famous too, and beneath his well-tailored suit and big grin, Fallon has a darker, rougher, more troubled side.

He's been called a 'superfunctioning alcoholic'

In February 2014, Jimmy Fallon's Saturday Night Live co-star, Horatio Sanz, said the affable comic had a penchant for booze. "[We] were superfunctioning alcoholics, definitely," Sanz told Vulture. "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." Sanz didn't intend to cast a shadow on his friend, but as Fallon's fame continues to grow, an increasing number of folks have suggested that drinking could be negatively undercutting Fallon's "superfunctioning" abilities.

The showdown after the show

In April 2014, Fallon narrowly escaped a bar brawl in the East Village while partying with friends after the show. A spy told Page Six, "There was some hostility from some people at the bar. Jimmy was not the aggressor, but he was caught up in it. It was broken up and Jimmy and his friends immediately left." The next night, the tab reports that Fallon partied until the wee hours at a different bar, ordering vodka shots for everyone around.

A couple months before that fracas, a former SNL co-star waxed poetic about Fallons' fighting skills. "Yeah, we got in a couple of brawls," Horatio Sanz told Vulture. "I've seen Jimmy clock a few people." He recalled the time Fallon poured beer on someone's hat, thinking it belonged to Sanz's friend. It didn't. When the guy the hat belonged to confronted Fallon, "Jimmy just punched him," Sanz said. "He wasn't that hurt; he just walked into a tornado of drunken stupidity. Yeah, Jimmy could fight. I don't know where he learned, but he definitely scrapped with the best of them."

While it's no secret that Fallon likes to unwind after work, his secret penchant for winding up could land him in hot water. A narrow escape one night may lead to a personal and professional knockout the next time.

His unusual injuries

Fallon's recent injuries read like those of a toddler hyped up on Mountain Dew. He reportedly severed a finger in June 2015 when he tripped in his New York home. "I tripped and fell in my kitchen on a braided rug that my wife loves, and I can't wait to burn it to the ground," the comedian told audiences on the night he returned to work. "My ring got caught on the countertop when I was going down, and stuck there and pulled my finger off." Fallon posted a Twitter photo of his bandaged hand, quipping "#drugged" and "#blessed." The injury landed him in the ICU for 10 days and required six hours of surgery.

Two months after Fallon hurt his finger, he chipped a tooth trying to open a jar of scar tissue gel for his hand.

Fallon injured his other hand in late October 2015 when he tripped at a party…with a bottle of Jägermeister. "He just fell on it," a witness told Page Six. "We all thought he did it on purpose." Police on the scene encouraged him to get his finger checked out at a hospital, where he was given a bandage and sent on his merry way…right back to the party. Fallon later told Tonight Show audiences, "I threw the bottle and then I landed on broken glass. there [were] pools of blood everywhere."

If you're keeping track, that was three injuries in four months. Is it bad luck or bad behavior that's tripping Fallon up? The New York Post reports NBC is "worried that Fallon's drinking has become excessive." Network execs reportedly have not taken action yet, but an insider said discussions about Fallon's off-screen antics have "gone from a whisper to a chatter."

His Vanity Fair photo shoot may be a ruse

Sam Jones photographed Fallon and fellow late night TV hosts for a September 2015 spread in Vanity Fair titled "Host-to-Host Sensation." In the story's accompanying photograph, 10 hosts are gathered together, all dressed in suits with a drink in their hands. Fallon is the only person sans beverage.

"The Jimmy thing was a little interesting, because I don't know that everyone got the memo that we were going to have drinks," Jones told the New York Post. "We ended up shooting that a few different ways and…in the end he decided, 'I don't want to have a drink in the picture.'" Some viewed that decision as an attempt to cover-up Fallon's drinking antics beneath a squeaky clean photo shoot.

He may be faltering under pressure

A Tonight Show insider told the New York Post that Fallon's youth may be hindering him in dealing with the success of his show. "There is so much money at stake, the pressure is enormous. [Besides doing the show daily], they're looking for the next viral thing to hit. He has to do calls with affiliates and sponsors. He has no outlet. He's young. He's still learning. You forget he hasn't been doing this 10 years."

If Fallon is leading a double life, he wouldn't be the first late night host to do so. "There's a sort of loneliness to being a late night host," photographer Sam Jones told the New York Post. Former Late Show host David Letterman was notoriously private about his personal life until a sex scandal and extortion attempt forced him to discuss his problems on air. Fallon is a married man and father of two young kids, so he may well be trying to preserve some boundaries between his personal and professional lives.