NEW YORK — "Tonight" show host Jimmy Fallon spent 10 days in a hospital intensive care unit after tripping in his kitchen and injuring a finger so badly it required six hours of microsurgery to save.
The comic was back at work Monday for the first time following the June 26 accident in his New York home, wearing a cast on his left hand that extended nearly to the fingernail of his ring finger. His wedding ring caught on a surface as he tried to break his fall.
"I tripped and fell in our kitchen on a braided rug that my wife loves," he said. "I can't wait to burn it to the ground."
His badly bent finger looking like a "horror movie," Fallon took a cab to an emergency room. He was told what he thought was a broken finger was much more complicated, and was sent to another hospital. He said he was told that many people with the same injury lose their finger.
The complicated surgery involved taking a vein from his foot to help repair the finger.
Ten days in the hospital made Fallon a little stir crazy.
"I started losing it halfway through," he said. "I started reading books about the meaning of life."
He wasn't kidding, as Fallon pulled out a paperback titled "Man's Search for Meaning." And he said it crystallized his own thoughts about what he should be doing.
"This is the meaning of my life," the 40-year-old comic said. "I belong on TV ... if anyone's suffering at all, this is my job. I'm here to make you laugh. I'm here to make you have a good time."
It was a rough summer break for NBC's "Tonight" show crew. Fallon's announcing sidekick, Steve Higgins, said he spent much of the time in bed with Lyme Disease.
The advantage of being a comedian, Fallon said, is that he got plenty of email messages from friends that made him laugh. And it made him see the humor in his fall.
"If it was me watching me," he said, "I would laugh."