As late night television appears to become more political, one talk show host is refusing to board the anti-Trump bandwagon.
NBC’s Jimmy Fallon admitted that attacking President Trump like other late night TV hosts is “just not what I do” in a preview clip of a “Today” show interview which will air Sunday
Despite a recent ratings drop for “The Tonight Show,” Fallon defended his refusal to join others like Steven Colbert, host of the CBS’ “Late Show,” and Jimmy Kimmel, of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” in making Trump an almost nightly part of their monologues.
“Have there been people that have come to you and said, ‘This is working for other people, maybe we should step into the anti-Trump lane and get in on it?’” Willie Geist asked Fallon in the video clip preview.
“It’s just not what I do. I think it would be weird for me to start doing it now. I don’t really care about politics, I gotta be honest,” the 43 year-old comedian replied. “I love pop culture more than I love politics. I’m just not that brain.”
Asked if he ever felt pressured to talk about Trump or “go political,” Fallon said he thought “the other guys are doing it very well.”
“Colbert’s doing great — I mean, that’s what he’s good at. He’s great, he’s always into political comedy. I think when it’s organic, I’ll dip into it as well,” the former “Saturday Night Live” cast member explained.
His show’s ratings, however, may be suffering from his decision as “The Tonight Show” has lost the top spot in the late night TV lineup, falling behind Colbert but ahead of Kimmel, with viewership down 31 percent compared to this time last year, according to Fox News.
Trump’s pre-election appearance with Fallon in September 2016 earned the show high ratings though the host was raked over the coals by liberals for what they considered softball questions, and for infamously touching Trump’s hair.
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) September 19, 2016
While Colbert, formerly with Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” and the “Colbert Report” is, as Fallon said, “good at” political satire, Kimmel has thrust himself into headlines in recent weeks with his own attacks on Trump. Seeming to lead the late night anti-Trump charge with his rants on the healthcare debate and on gun control following the deadly Las Vegas massacre earlier this month, Kimmel has been dubbed “America’s conscience.”
Kimmel engaged in a battle of words on Twitter with Donald Trump, Jr., calling the president’s son an “idiot” and an “imbecile.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 13, 2017
And it’s not just Trump being attacked. Late night comedian Seth Meyers effectively told any Trump supporters watching his show to “get off the fence” and choose whether they support the president or his show.
The president called out the late-night hosts for their attacks in a tweet last week.
Late Night host are dealing with the Democrats for their very “unfunny” & repetitive material, always anti-Trump! Should we get Equal Time?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2017
For Fallon, meanwhile, jokes about the president are not off-limits and he argued that he made “thousands” of jokes about former President Obama.
“But I’ve always made jokes about the President. We’ve only had Obama but I’ve made thousands of jokes. I remember having him on the show and I was like, ‘Sorry, that’s my job, I have to do what I have to do,’” he said.
“But with Trump, it’s just like, everyday is a new thing. He gives a lot of material, a lot of stuff is hard to make a joke about. It’s just too serious,” he added.
Fallon’s fans praised his choice and weighed in on Twitter to express their thanks for “taking the high road.”
Thank you, Jimmy. We need our oasis from the #TrumpStorm. Keep on doing what you’re doing. please!
— Ann Wilmer-Lasky ? (@awlasky) October 13, 2017
I’m actually glad you keep it on a lighter side. But you’re right, there’s almost too much material on serious subjects
— kfd&p (@kfdpcom) October 13, 2017
Taking the high road. That’s one reason I Love Jimmy Fallon. ?
— suzanne bible (@mimib1962) October 13, 2017
@jimmyfallon we love you just the way you are!❤️☀️?
— Yasmine Todhunter (@yasmineraia) October 13, 2017
I saw where Jimmy Fallon is defending decision to not turn his show into an anti-Trump show if true let’s support him & raise his ratings
— Brad (@Bradley90583123) October 14, 2017
You do you Jimmy ???
— stacey lynn (@StaceySseal) October 13, 2017
I’m SO excited that he DOESN’T cover politics. That’s why I watch it & don’t watch others. Thanks 4 REAL entertainment, @jimmyfallon!
— Megan Trainor (@Megan_Trainor1) October 13, 2017
Thank you @jimmyfallon we aren’t watching for politics. Just want to laugh ? & be entertained. Maybe I’ll start watching again.
— Jewel S (@jewels_my) October 14, 2017
Refreshing to hear and much better than Kimmel crying and whining every night. I love Fallon.
— Tania Malone (@taniamalone74) October 13, 2017
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