Last Thursday night, Donald Trump appeared on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and allowed Fallon to mess up his hair under the guise of proving his hair is real. The next night, Fallon taped an interview with Hillary Clinton scheduled to air Monday night in which he donned a surgical mask to make light of her having been diagnosed with pneumonia.
On Friday morning, after Fallon messed up Trump’s hair, the media and social media lost its shit:
In case you’re not interested in reading this tripe, the gist is as follows; Jimmy Fallon has on obligation to “grill” Donald trump and save us all from this monster.
If you’re a regular reader of this space, you know that I am no Donald Trump fan. At all. I am, however, a Jimmy Fallon fan and a fan of comedy, entertainment and the arts.
I ask you this; when the Hillary interview airs Monday night, will the same media explode over Fallon’s softball approach with her? I’ve seen the entire interview, thanks to a friend, and it’s as unserious as the Trump interview was, at least on Fallon’s part. That’s part of the difference; Trump is an egomaniacal entertainer and not very disciplined. When he goes on a show like Fallon’s, he goes with the flow and acts as best he can as an entertainer. When Hillary goes on a show like Fallon’s she does her best to appear fun and light, but her main goal is to make no mistakes and force her talking points into a question from Fallon about her favorite flavor of ice cream.
A couple years ago we made major changes to the RAD show and constantly referenced what I call the Jimmy Fallon-ization of America. Another of my favorite phrases is that we’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. We, as Americans, wants some places to go to just laugh, be light and silly, have fun, and forget how screwed up everything is. As that is taken away from us within the sports world, shows like Fallon’s become more and more necessary. The Daily Show is an unfunny disaster, as is Colbert, and Jimmy Kimmel appeals to a narrow group of people who live only off of sarcasm. That leaves Fallon, and the ratings show unequivocally that he is what we want right now.
On the RAD show, we’ve simply adjusted the tone and the balance. We still deliver serious topics, but with less anger yelling and judging. We’re more silly. We have theme songs…We’re radio’s Fallon to the best of our ability within the format of our show. And the ratings show unequivocally that we are what people want right now. We’re bigger than ever and proud of it.
Most importantly, though, is this asinine assertion that Jimmy Fallon needs to be Barbara Walters, Bill O Reilly, or even Steve Harvey. Harvey’s daily talk show ranges from the silly to the serious. Fallon is NEVER serious, with one exception; death. The only time he gets serious is when honoring a departed celebrity or addressing a massive attack or scene or death and terror. Fallon doesn’t grill anyone and none of us want him to. He plays games in which he cracks eggs over celebrity’s heads and smacks them with oversized hands. As such, he often makes even the most dull and/or unlikable celebrity likeable and engaging. What he’s pulled out of Robert Deniro and Harrison ford, two of the worst interviews on earth, is nothing short of amazing and it’s because he makes them comfortable.
When we tune into Fallon none of us says “gee I really hope he goes over the deficit tonight and offers his opinion on how to defeat ISIS.” We want to escape and even with Donald Trump, he finds a way to make us do that. Truth is, Trump looked like his usual idiot self most of that interview which is the beauty of Fallon. He gives just enough rope and lets his guests hang themselves or swing to freedom. And that’s why we love him. This entire country needs to pull the stick out.