- A Rolling Stone report alleged Jimmy Fallon created a toxic work environment on “The Tonight Show.”
- In her book “Bossypants,” Tina Fey recalled when Fallon told Amy Poehler that her joke wasn’t cute.
- “I don’t fucking care if you like it,” Poehler responded, according to Fey.
Comedian Amy Poehler once checked Jimmy Fallon after he a made comment about her vulgar joke not being cute, Tina Fey wrote in her 2011 memoir “Bossypants.”
According to Fey, the incident occurred years ago when Poehler was a fresh-faced cast on Saturday Night Live and long before Fallon would land his role as the host of “The Tonight Show” in 2014.
A Rolling Stone report published Thursday alleged that Fallon created a toxic work environment with his “erratic behavior” based on interviews with 16 current and former staff members of the show.
Fey wrote that the moment happened inside a crowded writers’ room where people were fooling around doing “noisy ‘comedy bits.'”
X user Erin Overbey first resurfaced Fey’s account of the incident in a social media post.
“Amy was in the middle of some such nonsense with Seth Meyers across the table, and she did something vulgar as a joke. I can’t remember what it was exactly, except it was dirty and loud and ‘unladylike,’ Fey wrote. “Jimmy Fallon, who was arguably the star of the show at the time, turned to her and in a faux-squeamish voice said: ‘Stop that! It’s not cute! I don’t like it.'”
In response, “Amy dropped what she was doing, went black in the eyes for a second, and wheeled around on him. ‘I don’t fucking care if you like it.’ Jimmy was visibly startled. Amy went right back to enjoying her ridiculous bit,” according to Fey.
Representatives for Fey and Poehler did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Fallon left the cast of “SNL” in 2004. About a decade later, he would land the coveted role of hosting “The Tonight Show,” taking over Jay Leno’s seat.
Two current and 14 former employees told Rolling Stone that the show had fostered a toxic work environment for years.
Two employees recalled a time when Fallon reprimanded a crew member so hard that Jerry Seinfeld, who was a guest on the show on the night the incident occurred, had to intervene.
Seinfeld disputed the characterization of the incident to Rolling Stone.
“This is so stupid,” he told the publication. “I remember this moment quite well… I teased Jimmy about a flub, and we all had a fun laugh about how rarely Jimmy is thrown off. It was not uncomfortable at all. Jimmy and I still occasionally recall it and laugh. Idiotic twisting of events.”
A spokesperson for NBC did not respond to a request for comment.
Staff members later told Rolling Stone that Fallon apologized in a Zoom meeting on Thursday evening, following the magazine’s investigative report.
“It’s embarrassing and I feel so bad,” Fallon said, according to the employees.
In her memoir, Fey recalled sensing a “cosmic shift” inside the writers’ room after Poehler sniped back at Fallon.
“Amy made it clear that she wasn’t there to be cute. She wasn’t there to play wives and girlfriends in the boys’ scenes,” Fey wrote. “She was there to do what she wanted to do and she did not fucking care if you like it.”