Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee, John Oliver, Seth Meyers, Trevor Noah, and half of Twitter might disagree … but NBC’s Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon suggests that Donald Trump’s headlines are often “too serious” to make jokes about.
In an interview with NBC’s Sunday TODAY, the host was asked about his show’s lack of Trump bashing.
“It’s just not what I do, I think it would be weird for me to start doing it now,” Fallon said to Willie Geist in a preview from the upcoming broadcast. “I don’t even care about politics. I love pop culture more than politics, I just don’t have that brain.”
The TODAY co-host followed up by asking if Fallon feels any pressure to go after the president given that it’s clearly working for other late night hosts.
“I think the other guys are doing it very well,” Fallon replied. “Colbert’s doing great; he’s always been into political comedy. When it’s organic I’ll dip into it as well. I’ve always made jokes about the president. We’ve only had Obama. I’ve made thousands of jokes … with Trump, it’s just like every day is a new thing. He gives a lot of material. A lot of [his] stuff is hard to make a joke about. It’s just too serious.”
Fallon has received plenty of criticism for not going after Trump harder (and that infamous hair ruffling interview) but the man also has a point: When nearly every competitor is making jokes about the same topic (particularly if they’re doing it rather well) it makes creative and strategic sense to do something different. Plenty of late-night viewers don’t want to hear Trump jokes — even some those who don’t like the president probably want a break — and Fallon’s overall strong ratings support that (he’s still tops in the 18-49 adult demo). But the idea that Trump’s antics might be hard to joke about … that’s a tougher sell.