There is no question that President Donald Trump is ruthlessly mocked by most late-night TV talk show hosts, far more so than any previous president.
However, one late-night host in particular has been significantly less brutal than the rest, that being “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon, subject of a lengthy piece in The New York Times regarding his sliding ratings in the late-night talk show world, ratings that began trending down after the host was accused of “humanizing” Trump by messing up his famous hair during a friendly 2016 interview.
Former late-night king Jay Leno, who handed off “The Tonight Show” to Fallon after hosting for 20 years, also drew criticism in his day for his rather even-handed approach to covering former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and told The Times that being such a centrist host these days is nearly impossible for the current crop of mostly left-leaning hosts to emulate.
“We live in an era now where if you don’t take sides, both sides hate you,” Leno stated, recalling how the stakes seemed lower and the jokes against presidents more harmless in his heyday.
“Bush was dumb, and Clinton was horny,” Leno explained. “When I was doing a monologue, I never questioned anybody’s patriotism — you questioned their judgment.”
As to most of the current hosts slamming Trump and his administration — along with his supporters — as stupid, evil and unpatriotic people who should be regarded as second-class citizens, Leno believed those hosts were “overindulging” in the mean-spirited, hateful brand of comedy.
“I am not a Trump fan at all, not in the slightest, not in the least,” said Leno. “But this constant pounding does have a tendency to anesthetize your feelings.”
“It should be called, ‘What Did Trump Do Now?’ That’s basically what everybody’s monologue is,” he said of the current crop of late-night hosts. “You almost wish for a normal day, just to have a joke.”
As PJ Media noted, Jay Leno is widely revered among the pantheon of successful late-night TV hosts and the comedy club circuit, and he most certainly knows what he is talking about when it comes to being a long-term success story in those comedic realms.
Unfortunately, his successors in Hollywood likely won’t listen to his wisdom in this case, as they have become consumed by their hatred for Trump and don’t seem to understand how to be funny anymore, at least not in a manner that will appeal broadly across the political spectrum, as Leno was able to do. READ MORE