Jimmy Fallon took multiple shots at President Donald Trump in his Tonight Show monologue on Thursday, changing his approach to talking about the new administration after receiving criticism for his previously neutral tone on Trump.
Fallon kicked off the show by welcoming that night’s guests, introducing Baywatch star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as “the next president of the United States.” This was quickly followed by a thorough Trump bashing that was unusual for Fallon, who a Salon source once said is “uncomfortable talking about politics.”
“The Washington Post reports that some White House staffers have already started looking for other jobs,” Jimmy Fallon said during the monologue.
“A lot of them have posted their résumés on the job-hunting site IWorkedForAMonster.com.”
“There’s yet another scandal,” he joked. “That’s right: A recording just came out from a closed-door meeting where Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy says he thinks that Vladimir Putin ‘pays’ Donald Trump.”
“Trump said he never accepted any money from Putin because he was paid entirely in KFC gift cards.”
Jimmy Fallon might have been gearing up for Thursday’s Trump-centric monologue since the beginning of the week, when he did a viral bit about President Trump seemingly taking parts of his Liberty University commencement speech from the one Elle Woods gave in Legally Blonde. He followed this up on Tuesday with a joke about Trump and the Russians, and on Wednesday with a quip about Donald Trump and his alleged meddling in the investigation into former adviser Michael Flynn.
— Variety (@Variety) May 17, 2017
Still, the Thursday monologue was by far the harshest. The Daily Beast suggests that Fallon may have finally dropped his politically neutral stance in light of the numerous scandals the Trump White House has been involved with in the last couple of weeks. There was the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, the revelation that Trump had fired Comey because of the FBI’s investigation into his campaign’s alleged ties with Russia, and the reports that Russia might have been using Flynn to influence the president.
With the Trump administration descending into chaos and ratings at stake, it probably isn’t the time for talk show hosts like Fallon to remain apolitical.
In an interview with the New York Times last week, Jimmy Fallon revealed that he was “devastated” after being heavily criticized for his infamous 2016 interview with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. Fallon took considerable heat for the interview, in which he played with Trump’s hair and seemingly tried to humanize the man. On social media, Fallon was dragged for what many saw as his weak, fawning tone with Trump and for not taking the opportunity to chew Trump out for his racist and sexist remarks.
— E! News (@enews) May 18, 2017
Speaking with the NY Times, Fallon acknowledged that the whole thing might have been a mistake.
“They have a right to be mad.”
“I’m a people pleaser,” the Tonight Show host said.
“If there’s one bad thing on Twitter about me, it will make me upset. So, after this happened, I was devastated. I didn’t mean anything by it. I was just trying to have fun.”
He also agreed that the late night landscape has changed and that it might be time for him to adopt a new strategy, especially now that his ratings are declining and Stephen Colbert and his barbed jokes about President Donald Trump are drawing more viewers than ever.
“Of course the show has to change,” he admitted.
“I don’t know what bits we’re going to do, but we’re trying everything.”
Still, Fallon insisted that the show will stay true to its essence.
“Just because some people bash me on Twitter, it’s not going to change my humor or my show.”
[Featured Image by Loreen Sarkis/Getty Images]