Former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno said today’s late-night shows have become negative following the election of President Trump and said the hosts all discuss “depressing Trump stuff.”
Leno, who gave up his coveted spot to Jimmy Fallon four years ago, told The Hollywood Reporter he had no interest in coming back to late-night and enjoys hosting his CNBC show “Jay Leno’s Garage.”
Leno explained late-night “has always been pretty topical” except now every host appears to be covering the same topic.
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“It’s all depressing Trump stuff,” Leno said. “And they all do a great job.”
Leno said that now the subjects appeared to be negative.
“The trouble is that there’s such negativity now,” Leno said. “When I did the show, Bush was dumb and Clinton was horny and it was human problems. Now it’s all anti-women, anti-LGBT, anti-Muslim, anti-Mexican, anti-Salvadoran; it’s such a negative thing.”
Leno applauded hosts like Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee, Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Myers for “making it funny, but ultimately, it’s depressing.”
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However, the former host said that he told his wife, who was upset following Trump’s victory, that it would be “the greatest thing that ever happens in the women’s movement.”
“Because even men who are apathetic are going, ‘Whoa, wait a minute.’ Harvey Weinstein was a catalyst, but Trump really started [the groundswell]. 750,000 women showed up for that march on three days’ notice. That was unprecedented,” he said.
When asked if he wished he still had his talk show in order to have his “shot” at Trump, Leno said he did not. Leno said he liked having his show for 22 years and was lucky for the opportunity, but felt too old to return to the late-night circuit.
Leno said he enjoyed what he was doing now and would not consider doing a series for a streaming service like his colleague David Letterman.
“Not really. I like what I’m doing,” Leno said. “To me, I like talking to regular people and seeing what I can draw out of them. I’m sure Dave will be excellent, he always does a good show.”