Jimmy Fallon has come under fire after interviewing Donald Trump on Thursday by critics who say he wasn’t aggressive enough with the presidential candidate.
Fallon’s playful, softball interview, which ended with his toughest question — whether Trump would let him mess up the candidate’s hair — has inspired a lot of heated criticism among viewers and members of the media.
Huffington Post writer Maxwell Strachan called the interview “an extended on-air puff piece” and dinged Fallon for playing nice with a controversial figure running for the highest job in the nation. Strachan compared Fallon’s Trump interview with one done by Letterman, who retired from late night.
“At their best, late-night hosts have been able to toe a difficult line between comedy and responsibility. No one did this better than David Letterman, who repeatedly exposed truth while still on the air,” Strachan said.
He went on to say, “Fallon is not Letterman, and he will never will be, nor does he seem to want to be. But that doesn’t mean he be let off the hook for humanising a well-documented xenophobic, racist, and misogynistic serial liar, which is exactly what he did on Thursday.”
A chorus of viewers took to social media to express their anger with Fallon:
I can’t make any jokes about Jimmy Fallon. The way he showcased Trump like a loveable old grandpa was sickening.
— Matt Zoller Seitz (@mattzollerseitz) September 16, 2016
Fallon and Trump are 2 sides of the same coin: mediocrity and evil go together.
— eddie pepitone (@eddiepepitone) September 16, 2016
Next up: Fallon and Trump slow jam MEIN KAMPF. Hilarious!
— Harold Itzkowitz (@HaroldItz) September 16, 2016
TRUMP: We’re gonna deport everyone
FALLON: (cracking up)
TRUMP: Anyone against me will pay
FALLON: (bursts out laughing) Ya got me!
— Drew Magary (@drewmagary) September 16, 2016
A “Tonight Show” representative didn’t immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
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