At a rally in South Carolina on Monday night, President Trump said he’d discovered a new showbiz fan in director David Lynch. In a scene more bizarre than anything Lynch dreamed up for Twin Peaks: The Return, Trump read from a Breitbart News report quoting Lynch as saying, “[Trump] could go down as one of the greatest presidents in history because he has disrupted the thing so much.” Trump then referred to Lynch as “the great filmmaker” before adding, “There goes his career” — because, you know, Hollywood doesn’t employ Trump fans, right?
Trump also kept alive his weekend attack on Jimmy Fallon and opened up a new front: a war with Stephen Colbert. Referring to the Late Show host only as “the guy on CBS,” Trump called Colbert a “lowlife” who “has no talent.” Then he returned to sniping at Fallon. You have to give the president credit — he goes to the deep cuts for his tweet material. Over the weekend, instead of running the country, Trump read the transcript of a Hollywood Reporter podcast (who does that?) and was offended to learn that Jimmy Fallon deeply regrets having been so nice and playful with Trump in 2016. You remember that moment, when Fallon reached over and fondly mussed then-candidate Trump’s hair. It was viewed as the clearest sign that Fallon had no idea what Trump stood for — or that the talk-show host knew and didn’t care. The widespread criticism Fallon received coincided with (or helped cause?) a dip in his ratings from which his Tonight Show has never recovered.
.@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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2018
And now Fallon is literally crying about it. According to the Hollywood Reporter: “Choking up, [Fallon] 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.”’ Fallon adds, ‘I’m sorry if I made anyone mad. And, looking back, I would do it differently.’” Trump responded as he always does when confronted by vulnerability: with complete scorn. “Be a man, Jimmy!” the president tweet-yelled. Because, you know, expressing pain or regret is feminine — what one of Fallon’s former SNL co-stars would call girly-man behavior.
In response to Trump’s tweet, the newly woke Fallon tweeted that he’s making a donation to RAICES — a charity aiming to reunite immigrant families separated at the border — in Trump’s name. Fox News immediately began trying to make Fallon feel bad all over again. “He’s gone political on this!” yelped Carley Shimkus, a talking head on Fox & Friends. Celebrities “going political” is the worst thing a famous person can do, by Fox News’ standards: Why, just look at that mean Seth Rogen, and how he wouldn’t have his picture taken with Paul Ryan! Shimkus and the Fox co-hosts condemned Fallon’s charity gesture as more “divisiveness,” more “Trump-hate.” They intentionally never see the forest for the trees, over there on Fox.
On Monday night’s Tonight Show, Fallon struck back with an unusual-for-him series of political jokes. “As you may have heard, last night, the president of the United States went after me on Twitter. So, Melania, if you’re watching, I don’t think your anti-bullying campaign is working. … It’s crazy. The president went after me on Twitter. It’s pretty much the only thing I have in common with NFL players. … Let’s get to some real news here. A new poll found that 58 percent of Americans think President Trump is intelligent. In response, Trump was like, ‘OK, what did the other 58 percent say?’”
I didn’t say they were funny jokes. Still, Jimmy Fallon going political is one of the signs of the Apocalypse, isn’t it?
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert air weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on NBC and CBS, respectively.
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