President Donald Trump called late night shows ‘boring,’ prompting a response from two of the best in the business.
President Trump certainly isn’t one to back away from a fight or let an insult slide, no matter how slight. But he may be in over his head once again after publicly criticizing late night television shows.
Trump took to Twitter to applaud former The Tonight Show host Jay Leno for saying politics had become too involved in late night. Leno’s view has some merit but it also reflects his approach to late night comedy that perhaps doesn’t represent the genre today.
It’s likely that today’s hosts would have let Leno’s comments go without a response. That was until Trump called the shows “boring” and “unwatchable.” These show should be unwatchable for Trump in the sense that he is the president and shouldn’t really concern himself with what comedians are saying on television.
So how did late night react to Trump on Wednesday night? Let’s start by hearing from Jimmy Kimmel:
Kimmel sums it up with one line: “You stop being terrible, we’ll stop pointing it out.” He suggests that none of the late night hosts want to talk about Trump every night but he leaves them with no choice. When his associates get sent to jail and he has to defend his wife from “body double” accusations, it’s going to lead to jokes.
The interview clip of Jay Leno that Kimmel shows is what Trump based his tweet on. But the clip cuts off before Leno went on to say how hard it is to write jokes about a president who has an affair with a porn star because of how ridiculous that is already. Trump conveniently left that out when he blasted late night.
Jimmy Kimmel Live! wasn’t the only show to address President Trump’s criticism. Stephen Colbert took some time on The Late Show to share his thoughts:
Colbert makes a point to remind President Trump that The Late Show is number one in the ratings. The closets competitor is The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, which is probably the closest to the type of show Jay Leno wants to see. That all suggests that audiences want a politically-driven late night show that isn’t afraid to ridicule the president.
And it’s pretty easy for Colbert to find material to just that. Even when trying to denounce late night, Trump helps them by sending out back-to-back tweets on America’s greatness timed around an Arby’s commercial, adding to his fast food connection.
It’s worth noting that neither Jimmy Kimmel or Stephen Colbert responded directly to Jay Leno. It could be partly out of respect for Leno and his contributions to late night. It also could be because President Trump took the comments out of context and left out Leno’s jab at him. In any case, a war of words between the president and late night actually will be one-sided. And Last Night On will have it all covered!