Jimmy Fallon, Dave Chappelle regret going soft on Donald Trump
Jimmy Fallon says he is sorry for a September interview with Donald Trump in which he played with the then-underdog’s hair and was accused by some of going “soft” in the interview. Elizabeth Keatinge (@elizkeatinge) has more. USA TODAY
Add comedians Jimmy Fallon and Dave Chappelle to the list of Americans with Trump remorse.
In a New York Times interview published Wednesday, the host of NBC’s Tonight Show acknowledged viewers “have a right to be mad” about his softball interview with then-underdog candidate Donald Trump from September 15 of last year.
“If I let anyone down, it hurt my feelings that they didn’t like it. I got it,” he said. And while he didn’t directly apologize for having Trump on or not addressing controversial comments the GOP presidential candidate made just that day about Obama and the Holocaust, Fallon kicked himself for a couple of weeks for not having addressed the backlash with viewers.
“I didn’t talk about it, and I should have talked about it,” he said. “I regret that.”
Fallon insists that now-infamous hair-touching moment wasn’t intended “to humanize him,” Fallon told reporter Dave Itzkoff. “I almost did it to minimize him. I didn’t think that would be a compliment: ‘He did the thing (seeing what that hair feels like) that we all wanted to do.’”
Fallon continued, “I’m a people pleaser. If there’s one bad thing on Twitter about me, it will make me upset. So, after this happened, I was devastated. I didn’t mean anything by it. I was just trying to have fun.”
His comments came one day after Dave Chappelle told a New York audience that he regrets this line from his post-election monologue on the Nov. 12 episode of Saturday Night Live: “I’m wishing Donald Trump luck, and I’m going to give him a chance, and we, the historically disenfranchised, demand that he give us one too.”
During his set at Monday’s Robin Hood NYC benefit at Madison Square Garden, Chappelle confessed, “I was the first guy on TV to say, ‘Give Trump a chance.’ I (messed) up. Sorry.”
Trying to find the silver lining in that particular cloud, the comedian, who joking referred to himself as the “Jane Goodall of white people,” pointed out the “wake up every day, never knowing what he’s going to do next Donald Trump” turned out to be “exciting — like you thought the black president would have been.”
So at least there’s that.