Trump Continues Attack on Jimmy Fallon, Other Late-Night Hosts at South Carolina Rally
Also at the rally, Trump referred to Stephen Colbert as a "lowlife" and called Jimmy Kimmel "terrible."
President Trump doubled down on his criticism of The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon at a rally in Columbia, S.C., on Monday.
Trump first went after Fallon on Sunday over the latter's recent comments, during a Hollywood Reporter "Awards Chatter" podcast episode, in which Fallon became choked up talking about the grief he got after tussling Trump's hair on his show. During the taping of Trump’s appearance, Fallon asked for and was granted permission to "mess up" Trump's hair, which has been the source of mockery and curiosity over the years. Fallon was instantly attacked over the move for attempting to “normalize” Trump to the public.
"I did not do it to 'normalize' him or to say I believe in his political beliefs or any of that stuff," Fallon told THR's Scott Feinberg during the June 19, 2018, podcast. Fallon said that the criticism that he faced "just got bigger and out of control.”
At his rally Monday, Trump said of Fallon: "He was so disappointed to find out [my hair] was real. He couldn't believe it. Well that's one of the great things I got. So Jimmy Fallon apologized. He apologized for humanizing me. Can you believe it? Poor guy, because now he's going to lose all of us."
He added: "Jimmy Fallon calls me up and he's like a nice guy. He's lost. He looks like a lost soul. But you know what, he's a nice guy. I agreed to do his show and I guess because I was running at that time, I think, he got tremendous ratings. He should be thankful. He shouldn't be upset or angry. When you apologize, because you got somebody else that didn't go on the other shows…. So I go on the show, you know, I agree. Do whatever you want with my hair. Go ahead, let's go. And that was it! You walk off, what is it, two and half years later? He's all apologizing because he humanized me? And he really hurt himself."
Trump then explained that Fallon called him to thank him for his appearance which gave him "monster ratings": "So I said to him today, on social media, 'Jimmy, be a man. Just relax.'"
The Fallon-Trump feud was ignited when the president tweeted Sunday: ".@jimmyfallon is now whimpering to all that he did the famous 'hair show' with me (where he seriously messed up my hair), & that he would have now done it differently because it is said to have 'humanized' me-he is taking heat. He called & said 'monster ratings.' Be a man Jimmy!"
In a subtle response, Fallon tweeted that he would be “making a donation to RAICES in his name” in honor of Trump’s tweet.
On the podcast, Fallon referred to the backlash as a “down time” for himself and the Tonight Show crew. “There's 300 people that work here, and so when people are talking that bad about you and ganging up on you, in a really gang-mentality...." Choking up, he added: "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.'"
Added Fallon: "I'm sorry. I don't want to make anyone angry — I never do and I never will. It's all in the fun of the show. I made a mistake. I'm sorry if I made anyone mad. And, looking back, I would do it differently."
Also at Monday's rally, Trump went after other late-night hosts including Stephen Colbert, whom he called a "lowlife," and Jimmy Kimmel, whom the president referred to as "terrible."
"The guy on CBS [Colbert], what a lowlife," he said. "I mean honestly, are these people funny? And I can laugh at myself. Frankly if I couldn't, I'd be in big trouble. But there's no talent. They're not like talented people. Johnny Carson was talented. I mean this guy on CBS, has no talent. Jimmy Kimmel would meet me before the election.… I go to his studio to do a shot, he would stand outside of the sidewalk waiting for me. 'Oh here he comes, Donald Trump.' He opens my door.… I wasn't president. I was like a guy. A guy with potential."
Trump then said that after asking whether Kimmel does that for everyone, he was told that the late-night host did not. "Now I wouldn't do his show. That guy's terrible," he said.
Later on, Trump also deemed NBC as "worse than CNN," admitting that he denied renewing his contract for The Apprentice, only for their new venture with Arnold Schwarzenegger to "bomb" two episodes in. "It was so bad, that they didn't believe it, so they let it go a little bit longer."
Trump then credited his wife, Melania, for calling out the ratings, having told him, "You know there's nobody that can take your place. He will not be successful."