10:00am PT by Alexandra Cheney
Jay Leno Thinks Donald Trump Needs "The Crap Beat Out of Him Just Once"
Before Matt Lauer was drubbed for handling Donald Trump with kid gloves at NBC's Commander-in-Chief Forum on Sept. 7, Jay Leno declared to THR that somebody needs to step into the ring with the Republican presidential nominee.
Sitting in the Mercedes-Benz Lounge at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance last month, Leno, leaning on his self-deprecating humor that captivated decades of NBC viewers, singled out Trump. "I think this is the problem with Donald Trump. I don't think anybody has just ever beaten the crap out of him, so he has this attitude of 'whatever.' When you have the crap beat out of you, you learn how to negotiate, you learn how to deal with people," Leno explains. "You learn that kindness is the greatest virtue you can have."
Leno paused for a moment as several shining classic cars rolled by, including the 1936 Lancia Astura Pinin Farina Cabriolet that would later win the Concours Best in Show.
“I know people that say ‘Shut the f—ing door’ and I know people who say ‘Is it cold in here?’ If you say ‘Is it cold in here?’ someone will shut the door for you, and you haven't annoyed anybody or pissed anybody off. And that's my attitude about life, just trying to be kind.”
Leno, whose second season of Jay Leno’s Garage is currently airing on CNBC, continued, “When you are poor it's easy to be kind. When you are rich and famous, it's not that it's hard to be kind, but it's harder because people suddenly start catering to your eccentricities or whatever it might be."
A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 23 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.