Jimmy Fallon defends 2016 Donald Trump hair ruffle interview: 'I didn't mean to normalize him'

Late-night host Jimmy Fallon is famous for his celebrities interviews, but it was his 2016 with the then-presidential nominee Donald Trump that landed the TV host in hot water with viewers. 

“I did not do it to ‘normalize’ him or to say I believe in his political beliefs or any of that stuff,” Fallon told the Hollywood Reporter in a recent interview. 

The host had the real estate mogul on his show prior to his 2016 New Hampshire rally, and during the interview he asked Trump if there was something he could do before he would potentially become president of the United States. 

"I'm not liking the sound of this, but go ahead," Trump said. 

Fallon replied, "Can I mess your hair up?"

Trump agreed and let Fallon reach out and ruffle his iconic hair — a jester that made waves on the Internet.  

The host later explained in a 2017 interview with Vanity Fair that he was just "trying to have fun" with Trump, but revealed that he was "devasted" to learn that people had a negative reaction to the interview. Fans thought that Fallon was too easy on the presidential nominee and failed to address any pressing topics. 

“It just got bigger and out of control,” the comedian explained, admitting that even "Saturday Nigth Live" made fun of his presidential interview. 

“I saw other comedians from other shows making fun of me on Twitter and I go, ‘OK, now I’m just gonna get off.’ They know the show. I’m just doing five hours a week. I get in at 10 in the morning, I work till seven at night, and I’m just trying to make a funny show.”

But Fallon assured fans that he was not approving of Trump or his beliefs just because he joked around with the president on the show.

“You know the grind, and you know me. Of all the people in the world, I’m one of the good people," Fallon said. "I mean, really. You don’t even know what you’re talking about if you say that I’m evil or whatever,” he said.

And even though the host was disappointed with the fact that he upset fans, he defended his style of work and dismissed those who choose not to see the full picture. 

“But people just jump on the train, and some people don’t even want to hear anything else," he said. "They’re like, ‘No, you did that!’ You go, ‘Well, just calm down and just look at the whole thing and actually see my body of work.'"

You can find Morgan M. Evans on Twitter @themizfactor.