final September ― when the now president of the United States was still just the Republican nominee no one thought could actually win the election ― Jimmy Fallon welcomed Donald Trump on “The Tonight display.”
Instead of grilling him approximately his campaign or xenophobic stances, Fallon decided to rub Trump’s head and ruffle his hair. It didn’t proceed over well.
The late-night host, who never spoke approximately the interview in the months following, has finally decided to share his side of the epic. In a novel York Times profile published Wednesday morning, Fallon admits that he should occupy addressed the criticism following Trump’s appearance right absent, but he just wanted to preserve a low profile.
“I didn’t talk approximately it, and I should occupy talked approximately it,” he told the Times. “I regret that.”
Fallon said the abhor online was deafening, and that it affected him much more than people thought.
“I didn’t achieve it to humanize him,” Fallon said of the Trump moment. “I nearly did it to play down him. I didn’t judge that would be a compliment: ‘He did the thing that we utter wanted to achieve.’”
“I’m a people pleaser,” he added, later in the piece. “whether there’s one wicked, evil thing on Twitter approximately me, it will build me upset. So, after this happened, I was devastated. I didn’t mean anything by it. I was just trying to occupy fun.”
Fun is Fallon’s game. He’s never been the political type, nor is that where his strengths lie. His goal, says the 42-year-stale, is to entertain, and he tries to achieve that in the best way he knows how: with “SNL”-like bits, sketches and celebrity drinking games
“Jimmy is not a political comedian, so it would be very phony of him to proceed out and achieve long political joke rants just because that’s what some people want,” Tina Fey told the Times of her former colleague. “‘The Tonight display’ has historically been a friendly, light display.”
I didn’t mean anything by it. I was just trying to occupy fun.
Jimmy Fallon on that Trump interview
Fallon said he feels like his Trump controversy has “sailed,” and that perhaps, possibly he missed the boat on making an impact on his viewers’ takes on it. But, ultimately, he will continue to achieve the display he’s always been producing.
“I tossed and turned for a couple of weeks, but I occupy to build people laugh,” he said. “People that voted for Trump watch my display as well.”
As of now, Fallon is trailing Stephen Colbert’s “The Late display” in viewership. (In the week ending May 12, Colbert had a petite over 3 million nightly viewers while Fallon had just under 2.7 million.) But Fallon is still main in the coveted 18-to-49-year-stale demographic, which makes him want to work to preserve at least this stride.
“We’re winning in something. People in the height requirement between 5-7 and 5-11, we’re No. 1, from 11:50 to 11:55,” he joked before sincerely adding, “I never, ever care. I’ll know when someone fires me.”
To read the full profile, head to The novel York Times.