Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” opened Wednesday night's monologue by immediately joking about the termination of the network’s star "Today" host, Matt Lauer, for alleged sexual harassment.
“The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree was lit tonight,” Fallon said to applause. “Also getting lit tonight: the HR rep over at the 'Today' show."
In announcing Lauer’s firing, NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack said the network had “reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident,” and two additional individuals have reportedly accused Lauer of sexual harassment.
“NBC has fired Matt Lauer at the 'Today' show after he was accused of inappropriate sexual behavior,” Fallon continued. “So if you’re wondering where in the world is Matt Lauer, he’s probably at a bar with Charlie Rose.”
From 1998 to 2009, Lauer hosted an annual, five-day segment called “Where in the World is Matt Lauer?,” in which he reported from a variety of international hotspots, including Easter Island and the Great Wall of China.
Fallon’s ratings have reportedly nose-dived nearly 21 percent year-over-year, with more politically focused rivals Stephen Colbert of CBS and Jimmy Kimmel of ABC gaining significant ground in the late-night comedy race.
On “The Late Show” Wednesday, Colbert joked about the allegation that Lauer had given a sex toy to a colleague, with a note explaining how he wanted to use it on her.
“It’s bad enough he gave her a sex toy, but he also gave her instructions? He found a way to ‘mansplain’ sexual harassment,” Colbert said.
“Well that certainly explains their old recurring segment, ‘Where in the World are Matt Lauer’s Hands?'” Colbert added.
And on Comedy Central, “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah took stock of the sheer number of media figures who have been ousted for alleged sexual harassment.
“Soon they’ll have enough guys to start their own Perv News Network!” he joked.