Late-night legend Jay Leno says the jokes about President Donald Trump are getting old.
The retired host of NBC’s “Tonight Show” told Page Six that he would rather be “bringing people together” with late-night entertainment than telling jokes about the headline-grabbing White House.
“If [mocking the president] is a constant thing on a nightly basis,” Leno said, “eventually you’re all doing the same joke.”
But even with that bit of advice, Leno couldn’t keep himself from cracking one joke about Trump.
“I remember when ‘House of Cards’ was a TV show. Now it’s a documentary,” he quipped, referring to the popular Netflix series. “You look at the Underwoods. You go, ‘At least this isn’t as bad as the real thing.’”
Leno’s comments came as Stephen Colbert, host of “The Late Show” on CBS, frequently litters his opening monologue — and his entire show — with jabs aimed at Trump.
In early May, Colbert went on an expletive-laced diatribe against the president and his campaign’s alleged connection to Russian operatives. The CBS comedian was subsequently subjected to an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission.
“The only thing your mouth is good at is being [Russian President] Vladimir Putin’s c**k holster,” Colbert joked at the time.
Leno’s “Tonight Show” successor, Jimmy Fallon, faced criticism last month for his often apolitical approach to the late-night circuit. Though he jokes about the president, he often steers clear of the venomous, anti-Trump quips that have become a hallmark of Colbert’s brand.
Fallon avoids constantly bashing the president because “people who voted for Trump watch my show as well,” he told The New York Times. Some, though, have credited Fallon’s unwillingness to constantly insult the Trump administration for the dip in his ratings.
But that hasn’t changed the comedian’s perspective.
“I don’t want to be bullied into not being me, and not doing what I think is funny,” he told the Times. “Just because some people bash me on Twitter, it’s not going to change my humor or my show.”
And Fallon just beat Colbert in the ratings game for the first time since Trump became president. The NBC comedian outperformed his CBS counterpart for the week of June 19-23, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Fallon also bested Colbert among the most coveted age demographic — 18-49 year olds.