Former late-night icon Jay Leno says today’s crop of late-night television personalities have turned the formerly escapist form of entertainment into a constant, “depressing” drumbeat of criticism against President Donald Trump.
The 67-year-old Leno — who fronted NBC’s Tonight Show for 17 years before stepping down in 2009 — praised current late-night hosts Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Trevor Noah, and Samantha Bee, but added that their shows deal nearly exclusively in “depressing Trump stuff.”
“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,” Leno told the Hollywood Reporter in an interview. “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 added that his wife was depressed after Trump’s victory, but that he predicts the president will be “the greatest thing that ever happens to the women’s movement.”