Left-leaning former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno seems to recognize that late-night TV isn't what it used to be. But of course, it's not the media we should blame, he says -- it's Trump.
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Leno admitted the constant late-night focus on President Trump is “depressing" -- but apparently, that's all Trump's fault, and the poor late night hosts are the real victims trying to figuring out how to spin the crap into comedic gold.
Late-night has always been pretty topical. The only trouble is now everyone has the same topic. It's all depressing Trump stuff. And they all do a great job. Seth Meyers is a great writer; Jimmy Kimmel does a good job; Jimmy Fallon does a great job. I like Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah [on Comedy Central] and Samantha Bee [on TBS]. The trouble is that there's such negativity now.
When I did the show, Bush was dumb and Clinton was horny and it was human problems. Now it's all anti-women, anti-LGBT, anti-Muslim, anti-Mexican, anti-Salvadoran; it's such a negative thing. God bless all the late-night hosts, they make it funny, but ultimately, it's depressing. You don't really watch late-night TV to get away from reality anymore; now it's more in your face.
Leno also accused Trump of helping launch the #MeToo movement, before it had its own hashtag.
“Harvey Weinstein was a catalyst, but Trump really started [the groundswell],” Leno said. “Seven hundred and fifty thousand women showed up for that march on three days' notice. That was unprecedented.”
“I always used to meet young women who would say, "I'm not a feminist or anything but I want to get the same money as a guy,”” Leno said. “I'd say, "What do you think it means to be a feminist?" Now they're beginning to understand.”
While Leno admitted the constant Trump coverage was “depressing,” he added that “it’s ultimately a good thing” when late night hosts make their audience aware of what's going on — though Leno declined to note that most of what they have to say is rarely accurate.
Though Leno wasn’t very complimentary towards Trump, he did note that not everything is as dire as some hosts would make it seem.
“People are so incensed by Trump and what he does,” he said. “But the country is actually O.K. Unemployment is down, people are working, so ultimately some good will come out of it.”