Jimmy Fallon doesn't have a drinking problem, an NBC exec said Wednesday after he was quizzed about rumors that surfaced last year after the host had a series of accidents.
The stories, according to the peacock network's entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt, have been exaggerated.
During a presentation for the Television Critics Assn. winter press tour, Greenblatt told the assembled media that Fallon was "going to be fine for many years to come."
After the presentation, while talking to a smaller group of reporters, Greenblatt got more specific, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
"He doesn't have a drinking problem that any of us know about. He goes out and has fun and he's had some accidents," he said, adding that network execs "are always worried about his safety and health and yeah, there's been conversations about that, [but] the stories are exaggerated about all of it."
Murmurs to the contrary surfaced last fall after the 41-year-old nearly severed a finger last July, sidelining the show for two weeks, then chipped a tooth in August and injured his other hand in October. The string of accidents raised eyebrows, and Page Six reported that the jovial host was becoming one of the network's biggest worries because of "excessive drinking."
NBC just renewed "Late Night" host Seth Meyers' show through 2021, a move that was announced during the presentation and interpreted by some as an insurance policy against problems with the injury-prone Fallon. Fallon, who ended his stint as "SNL's" "Weekend Update" anchor a few years years before Meyers took over that chair, has consistently delivered in late-night talk ratings. He helmed "Late Night" starting in 2009 before succeeding Jay Leno at "The Tonight Show" in February 2014. But his rash of accidents last year raised concerns.
Still, Greenblatt said, "I often say Jimmy is going to be there longer than me and longer than many of you in your jobs."
Fallon has tweeted about his injuries and addressed his clumsiness in his monologues but has made no mention of drinking.
After his October fall at a Harvard Lampoon event in his honor, Fallon introduced himself in his monologue as "Trippy Fallon," appearing onstage wearing a hard hat and safety goggles.
"I had another mishap. This time I injured my other hand right after getting an award from Harvard. Even when I get into Harvard, I still embarrass my parents," he joked.
Fallon said he tripped over a girl while holding a bottle of Jagermeister and cut his hand on the shattered glass.
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