Jimmy Fallon got a lot of flack last week when he tossed softball questions to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and played with his hair, so he had a lot of pressure heading into Monday’s interview with Democratic contender Hillary Clinton. Did the “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” emcee learn from last week’s mistakes? Judge for yourself by watching his new interview with Clinton above, and then vote in our poll below.
In the couch chat, Fallon alludes to his now-viral Trump moment when he reads a letter from a child who wants Clinton to cut her hair. “I don’t think [you are] the candidate that has to worry about hair,” he jokes. Fallon is notable for staying politically neutral, especially when compared to his hard-hitting Emmy Awards competitors like “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and “Real Time with Bill Maher.” (Oliver won at Sunday’s Emmy ceremony.)
But it makes sense for “The Tonight Show” to refrain from choosing sides, as the fear of alienating one-half of its audience has routinely kept Fallon (and former host Jay Leno) at the top of the late-night ratings for NBC. Fallon is the ultimate people-pleaser, whether he’s questioning the latest movie star, singing act or, yes, presidential candidate.
Among the critics who nailed Fallon for his silly Trump interview last week was our sister site TV Line, which noted, “Fallon also failed to rebuke Trump for saying ‘shocking things I can’t even believe’ throughout his campaign, instead thanking him for giving his writing staff a surplus of material.”
And Variety wrote, “Fallon’s critics pointed to the incongruity of yukking it up with Trump while not asking him about controversies about his foundation giving or birtherism.” The harshest critiques, however, popped up on Twitter where Fallon’s unlikeability rating allegedly went up a staggering 2,324%.