During the election, Jimmy Fallon earned himself a whole bunch of hate by acting like a fangirl while interviewing Donald Trump on The Tonight Show. Almost two years on, and Jimmy has had some time to reflect on his (arguably, extremely poor) choices. According to Jimmy, he’d do it differently if he had to do it again.
One of the arguments against Jimmy’s interview with Trump – in which he giggled like a doofus and tousled Trump’s hair – was that he”normalized” Trump. While on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, Jimmy says that wasn’t his intention. He was just trying to be funny! And to all his haters, particularly the other late-night hosts, he kindly asks that you stop hating him for it.
“I did not do it to ‘normalize’ him or to say I believe in his political beliefs or any of that stuff…I’m just trying to make a funny show.
[Addressing them:] ‘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.’ But people just jump on the train, and some people don’t even want to hear anything else. They’re like, ‘No, you did that!’ You go, ‘Well, just calm down and just look at the whole thing and actually see my body of work.'”
Jimmy still feels sad about Trump’s visit, because it made his staff of 300 feel sad and embarrassed. Really, more than those “Ew!” sketches? Wow. And at the time, all the shit Jimmy took made him really feel sad.
“When people are talking that bad about you and ganging up on you, in a really gang-mentality, 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 main point Jimmy wants to make is that he is a nice guy who wants to be friends with everyone, and he realizes now that playing metaphorical footsies with Trump might have cost him some fans and friends.
“I made a mistake. I’m sorry if I made anyone mad. And, looking back, I would do it differently.”
Jimmy doesn’t say how he’d do things differently, but it’s worth a mention that he never said the words “The thing I’d do differently is to not do it“. So nothing would be different, and he’d still have Trump on as a guest. He probably just means he wouldn’t have put his hands anywhere near Trump’s attic insulation hair if he got a do-over. Jimmy was probably picking fiberglass particles out of his palm for weeks.