James Corden thinks it’s unfair Jimmy Fallon was roundly denounced for his controversial Tonight Show interview with Donald Trump last year.
The Late Late Show host appeared on the latest episode of Bill Simmons’ podcast, The B.S. Report, and explained his position on Fallon’s interview with Trump, which featured the host tousling Trump’s hair.
“I don’t think you can mock,” Corden said of Fallon, whom he previously stood up for at a PaleyFest event in March. “Go back, watch everyone’s interviews with [Trump]. Watch Kimmel’s interview with him. Watch Stephen Colbert’s interview with him. Or the time where he called in, on a phone, to Colbert’s monologue. And then watch Jimmy’s one, where he ruffles his hair. It’s like, no one took it seriously. No one was asking the right questions. The only reason people are outraged at Jimmy’s one is it’s — there are people outraged at that who haven’t even watched that interview. They’ve just seen a GIF or a meme of him ruffling his hair, they’ve seen outrage trending over here, and they too are outraged without anything. And you’ve got to watch them all. You’ve got to watch everybody’s interview.”
After Simmons said he felt Fallon was a victim of poor timing, Corden disagreed. “No, I just think the internet is a wonderful place to whip up a storm,” he said. “I don’t think it’s fair — I also don’t believe that late-night hosts should be your barometer for where your interview is or whether they should be the people asking the best questions. I don’t know that you should look to your late-night hosts for your news or opinion. It’s a strange thing today because it feels that might be the case.”
Listen to the podcast below — the Fallon comments start around the 44-minute mark.
The comments about Fallon and his Trump interview echo ones Corden made in March. “I felt that was really unfair because I don’t think anyone asked him the right questions,” Corden said at the time.
Unlike Fallon, Late Show host Stephen Colbert, and Jimmy Kimmel Live host Jimmy Kimmel, Corden didn’t interview Trump on his late-night show during the presidential campaign. But he did have a plan in mind for Trump that never came to fruition.
“When he was running for president, he didn’t stop by our show, but I felt like we had the absolute game to play with Donald Trump,” Corden said in March. “The game I wanted to play if he came on the show was called ‘Stand By It or Take It Back.’ I would read Donald Trump things that he had said on the campaign trail. I would say, [he’d] have two paddles, you can stand by it or take it back. If you take it back, you take it back forever. If you stand by it, you’ve got to tell me why, and I felt like that was such a good game.”