Tina Fey recalled how Amy Poehler stood up to Jimmy Fallon after talk show host


Tina Fey once described how Amy Poehler stood up to Jimmy Fallon after he criticized a joke she had cracked early in their comedy careers. 

The interaction was described by Fey in her 2013 memoir Bossypants, but it has been gaining traction on social media as of late following accusations Fallon created a ‘toxic’ work environment on the set of The Late Show. 

In her memoir, Fey, 53, described how Fallon, 48, attempted to shut Poehler, 51, down after she made a ‘vulgar’ joke amongst Saturday Night Live staff – but was left ‘visibly startled’ when she responded in blistering fashion. 

A tweet bringing the passage to light has thus far received 4,266 reposts and over 76K likes since it was shared on September 7.

‘Amy Poehler was new to SNL and we were all crowded into the seventeenth-floor writers’ room, waiting for the Wednesday night read-through to start,’ Tina described in her memoir. 

'Jimmy was visibly startled': Tina Fey once described how Amy Poehler stood up to Jimmy Fallon after he criticized an 'unladylike' joke she had cracked early in their comedy careers

‘Jimmy was visibly startled’: Tina Fey once described how Amy Poehler stood up to Jimmy Fallon after he criticized an ‘unladylike’ joke she had cracked early in their comedy careers

‘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”.

‘Jimmy Fallon turned to her and in a faux-squeamish voice said, “Stop that! It’s not cute! I don’t like it.”

‘Amy dropped what she was doing, went black in the eyes for a second, and wheeled around on him. “I don’t f**king care if you like it.” Jimmy was visibly startled.

‘Amy went right back to enjoying her ridiculous bit. With that exchange, a cosmic shift took place.

‘Amy made it clear that she wasn’t there to be cute,’ Tina said. ‘She wasn’t there to play wives and girlfriends in the boys’ scenes. She was there to do what she wanted to do and she did not f**king care if you like it.’

The passage has received renewed interest in light of allegations leveled against Fallon in a new Rolling Stone article, which accuses the comedian of creating a ‘toxic’ workplace at The Tonight Show. 

On Thursday, Jimmy apologized to his staff via a zoom call after the allegations emerged.

‘I feel so bad I can’t even tell you,’ he allegedly said to his staff in the call, according to Rolling Stone.

Controversy: Fallon was recently accused of creating a 'toxic' workplace on The Tonight Show

Controversy: Fallon was recently accused of creating a ‘toxic’ workplace on The Tonight Show 

Candid: Poehler described the interaction in her 2013 memoir Bossypants

Candid: Poehler described the interaction in her 2013 memoir Bossypants 

The magazine broke the story on his ‘erratic’ behavior on set, and cited two people in the meeting.

The staffers on the call said the late host’s words ‘felt pretty earnest.’

‘It’s embarrassing and I feel so bad,’ Fallon is alleged to have said. ‘Sorry if I embarrassed you and your family and friends… I feel so bad I can’t even tell you.’

‘I want the show to be fun, [it] should be inclusive to everybody,’ Fallon is said to have added. ‘It should be the best show.’

The outlet alleged that he would throw ‘hissy fits’ and forced staff to sob in ‘crying rooms’ as well as made ‘their hair fall out’ and triggered ‘suicidal thoughts.’

He would have ‘outbursts’ toward his staff and made it a ‘pretty glum atmosphere.’

Making waves: A tweet bringing the passage to light has thus far received 4,266 reposts and over 76K likes since it was posted on September 7

Making waves: A tweet bringing the passage to light has thus far received 4,266 reposts and over 76K likes since it was posted on September 7

Dynamic duo! Fey and Poehler pictured in 2019

Dynamic duo! Fey and Poehler pictured in 2019 

While the talk-show host is known for his hilarious anecdotes on the screen with a range of games, challenges and trivia garnering millions of weekly views online, it’s claimed Fallon has unexpected mood swings.

‘It was like, if Jimmy is in a bad mood, everyone’s day is f**ked,’ one former employee told Rolling Stone.

‘People wouldn’t joke around in the office, and they wouldn’t stand around and talk to each other. It was very much like, focus on whatever it is that you have to do because Jimmy’s in a bad mood, and if he sees that, he might fly off.’

It’s alleged his inconsistent and snappy attitude trickles down throughout the program’s hierarchy which has seen nine showrunners over nine years.

‘I just don’t think they’ve landed on a leader who can keep it together,’ one former staffer told Rolling Stone.

None of the nine showrunners opted to speak in a negative – or positive – light about the show.

Apology: On Thursday, Jimmy apologized to his staff via a zoom call, after he was accused by 16 of his current and former employees of creating a 'toxic' work environment

Apology: On Thursday, Jimmy apologized to his staff via a zoom call, after he was accused by 16 of his current and former employees of creating a ‘toxic’ work environment

The publication approached more than 50 current and former Tonight Show employees for the story. While many praised Fallon for his ability to crack a joke, no one put their hand up to speak on the record or had any good things to say about the work environment. The 16 who did speak up, under the condition of anonymity worked in a range of different roles, from production crews to the writers’ room.

But a source close to the Tonight Show told DailyMail.com: ‘The things being reported in this article happened years ago and just aren’t reflective of the atmosphere today.

‘Nobody is denying that things happened in the past, but any previous issues have been dealt with and everyone has moved on since then.

‘A lot of these are old anecdotes that have already been reported and it’s unclear to everyone why they’re being brought up again years later.

‘So many current staff members have positive things to say about the show but they aren’t being given a chance.

Allegations: The outlet alleged that he would throw 'hissy fits' and forced staff to sob in 'crying rooms' as well as made 'their hair fall out' and triggered 'suicidal thoughts'

Allegations: The outlet alleged that he would throw ‘hissy fits’ and forced staff to sob in ‘crying rooms’ as well as made ‘their hair fall out’ and triggered ‘suicidal thoughts’ 

‘This isn’t who Jimmy is and this isn’t in any way what the show is like today.’

Among the allegations, one former employee said the environment shifted during the transition from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to The Tonight Show.

‘The producers felt this pressure, and that translated down to all of their employees. People that worked under them then felt this pressure that if you made one mistake, you were gone and would be easily replaced,’ one former employee said.

‘You have all these NBC pages in the building who are ready, willing, and waiting to take your job.’

Many of the staffers said they left the show due to mental health concerns, with seven saying their overall wellbeing was impacted by their alleged experiences.



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