When Jimmy Fallon first took the reins at his late-night TV show, it definitely seemed as if he held a monopoly on young viewers. Indeed, writers for other late-night hosts lamented his popularity and complained about his “prom king” brand of humor. His partnership with The Roots band and innate musicality, however, won loyal viewers every night. This, however, is no longer the case. Within the past few days, it has become abundantly clear that Fallon’s show is hemorrhaging viewers. In fact, industry insiders seem to think that Jimmy Kimmel may possess the power to overtake Fallon in next year’s rating. For those who witnessed Fallon’s meteoric rise, this is very surprising news. And some are speculating that Fallon’s seemingly cozy relationship with Donald Trump may be why.
It was a segment to remember. In the midst of Donald Trump’s bombastic presidential campaign, he stopped by Fallon’s show. During the interview, Fallon reached over to ruffle Trump’s hair. And it is this moment that many Fallon critics tag as the moment when the late night host’s behavior crossed over into normalizing Trump’s rhetoric. For many Fallon fans, it was difficult to separate the intense political situation from his show. When Fallon went on record to claim that he wasn’t political at all, somehow his pleas fell on deaf ears and his show’s ratings continued to drop.