A bandaged Jimmy Fallon returned to The Tonight Show Monday after a two-week absence and detailed the gruesome hand injury that left him in intensive care for 10 days and almost cost him his finger.
The incident took place June 26th in Fallon's kitchen, where his foot caught on a braided rug — "I can't wait to burn it to the ground," he cracked — and sent him tumbling. Fallon tried to catch his fall on the counter and while gathering himself, it appeared that he'd broken his finger, which now faced sideways. At the emergency room, however, he was told it was not a broken finger, but "ring avulsion."
"Basically what it is," Fallon explained, "my ring got caught on the countertop when I was going down and stuck there and pulled my finger up. Trust me, I'm like, 'Wait, what!?' I didn't even look at the thing. I go, 'Can you fix it?' And they go, 'Oh, no, no. We gotta send you somewhere else.'"
Fallon ended up at the Bellevue Hospital Center, where a doctor clad in a bow tie and cowboy boots performed micro-surgery on his finger for six hours. The host said that ring avulsion cases typically end with an amputated finger, but the doctor saved his by taking a vein from Fallon's foot and placing it in his hand.
Fallon profusely thanked the doctors and nurses at Bellevue before detailing his tedious 10-day recovery in ICU (he won't have feeling in his hand for eight more weeks). He read books about the meaning of life (Viktor E. Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning), watched the teen comedy The Duff three times ("It's like the new Mean Girls," he raved) and binged The Real Housewives of New York.
"But really, I was watching TV and I was reading this meaning of life thing, and I think this is the meaning of my life," Fallon said. "I belong on TV and I should be talking to people who are watching, who are either in an ICU or wherever you are, at home, or if anyone's suffering at all — this is my job. I'm here to make you laugh."
Coincidentally, while Fallon was recovering, his sidekick Steve Higgins was bedridden with a 103-degree fever caused by lyme disease. The entire Roots crew, however, survived their vacations unscathed — though Questlove did break a nail.
"I should say the fall was funny," Fallon added with a grin. "I'm a comedian, so I have to fall funny. It was almost Jerry Lewis-y... I feel bad for anyone who trips, but if it was me watching me, I would laugh."