NBC’s Jimmy Fallon is defending his decision to keep his show from becoming an anti-Trump crusade like other late night hosts have, saying many of the president’s words and actions are just “too serious” for joke fodder.
“With Trump, it’s just like every day’s a new thing. He gives a lot of material. A lot of stuff is hard to even make a joke about,” Fallon said in a preview of an NBC “Today” show interview to air Sunday. “It’s just too serious.”
Too be sure, several late-night TV hosts have, since essentially the start of Trump’s winning 2016 White House bid, made attacking and satirizing the president a big part of their monologues.
Among them are Steven Colbert, host of the CBS' “Late Show,” and Jimmy Kimmel, of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
But while Colbert has long been associated with political satire, including his days with Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” then the “Colbert Report,” Kimmel appears to have seized on the anti-Trump movement, which has coincided with a rating spike.
However, the decision by "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" not to get on the anti-Trump bandwagon appears to have hurt the show's ratings.
Fallon is No. 2 to start the fall season, behind Colbert and ahead of Kimmel. Aside from losing the top spot, viewership is down 31 percent compared to this time last year, according to the most recent Hollywood Reporter numbers.
Fallon argues on the “Today” segment that he’s made jokes about Obama and Trump. And he said he will always make jokes about a president” but “it’s just not what I do.”
“I think it would be weird for me to start doing it now. I don’t really even care that much about politics.”
Kimmel, also his show’s executive producer, has perhaps most infamously publicized his infant child’s illness to attack Trump’s efforts to dismantle ObamaCare.
Trump last week criticized the late-night hosts for their attacks.
"Late-night host are dealing with the Democrats for their very ‘unfunny’ & repetitive material. Always anti-Trump! Should we get equal time,” he tweeted.
When Fallon was asked about whether he felt pressure to do Trump jokes, he replied: “I think the other guys are doing it very well. Colbert’s doing great. I mean, that’s what he’s good at. … I think when it’s organic I’ll dip into it.”