Don’t expect Jimmy Fallon to bring the anti-Trump train around his show anytime soon.
“It’s just not what I do,” Fallon, 43, said during a sneak peak at his interview with Willie Geist on Sunday Today, explaining why he doesn’t feel the pressure to amp up criticism against President Donald Trump on the Tonight Show, even though many of his fellow late night hosts — like Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers and Jimmy Kimmel — have.
“I think it’d be weird for me to start doing it now,” he said. “I don’t really even, you know, care that much about politics — I’ve got to be honest. I love pop culture more than I love politics. I’m just not that brain, you know?”
“I think the other guys are doing it very well,” he added. “Colbert’s doing great — I mean, that’s what he’s good at. He’s great. He’s always into like, political comedy. I think when it’s organic, I’ll dip into it as well. But I’ve always made jokes about the president — we’ve only had [former president Barack] Obama but I made thousands of jokes — I remember having him on the show and saying, ‘Sorry, that’s my job. I have to do what I have to do.’ “
“But with Trump, it’s just like, everyday is a new thing,” he continued. “He gives a lot of material — a lot of stuff is hard to even make a joke about, because it’s just too serious.”
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Last September, Fallon faced blowback after conducting a characteristically lighthearted interview with the then-Republican presidential nominee.
In addition to playfully tousling Trump’s hair to clear up any rumors the reality star-turned-politician wore a wig, Fallon was accused of allowing Trump to dodge hard-hitting questions about his campaign.
Indeed, Fallon does comment on Trump “when it’s organic” — like on Wednesday, when he joked that after hearing Eminem‘s epic diss of the president, Trump got confused and called for a boycott of the M&M store — though his commentary is usually mild compared to the scathing criticism often dished out by his colleagues.
“This week, we’ve seen examples of powerful men at the highest levels of entertainment and politics from Harvey Weinstein to Donald Trump abusing their power to silence, bully, or coerce,” the Late Night host said. “And it’s a reminder that our toxic culture of male entitlement is still very much intact… Of course, we have a president who built his political career almost entirely on bullying. His campaign and now his presidency have been in many ways a performance of dominance, a performance that has in many cases been explicitly misogynist.”
Fallon’s extended interview will air this Sunday on NBC’s Sunday Today with Willie Geist.