As the atrocities of the Trump administration continue to pile up, let’s remember to keep Jimmy Fallon in our thoughts and prayers. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Fallon admits that playfully stroking Donald Trump’s hair (and ego) on The Tonight Show in the run-up to the November 2016 presidential election was a mistake, saying, “I’m sorry. I don’t want to make anyone angry—I never do and I never will. It’s all in the fun of the show. I made a mistake. I’m sorry if I made anyone mad. And, looking back, I would do it differently.”
But it’s also clear that he feels rather sorry for himself about how thoroughly he was dunked on afterwards. Of the critics (including those here at The A.V. Club) who accused him of “normalizing” Trump in his softball interview, Fallon says: “You know the grind and you know me. Of all the people in the world, I’m one of the good people. I mean, really. You don’t even know what you’re talking about if you say that I’m evil or whatever.” (We didn’t really think he was evil, more like an enabler of evil, but we digress.) He adds, “You go, ‘Alright, we get it. I heard you. You made me feel bad. So now what? Are you happy? I’m depressed. Do you want to push me more? What do you want me to do? You want me to kill myself? What would make you happy? Get over it.’”
The Tonight Show’s ratings have dropped by more than 20 percent since the 2016 election, as viewers change the channel to the more politically conscious Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel instead. Fallon has been making some moves towards relevancy: Fallon has been a supporter of the March For Our Lives movement, and last night he had teen gun-control activist David Hogg on the show with his sister Lauren Hogg to talk about the horrific school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, back in February.
Perhaps he could play cornhole with Ruth Bader Ginsberg next?