"I didn't do it to humanize him," Jimmy Fallon told The New York Times last May, of the much-criticized hair ruffling he gave a pre-election Donald Trump during a 2016 interview. "I almost did it to minimize him. I didn't think that would be a compliment."
While his late-night competitors wasted no time in directly and sharply criticizing Trump both before and after the election, Fallon has spent the past year injecting his monologue with Trump jokes that often seem less withering than some of his peers'.
Last night, in character as the mild-mannered dad-magnet James Taylor, Fallon took a sharper pen to the president's past year. In a cover of Taylor's "Fire and Rain" (which Taylor himself reworked for Stephen Colbert back in 2015) Fallon makes reference to the recently released book Fire And Fury: Inside The Trump White House, singing:
"I've seen fire and I've seen fury.
I've seen White House staff who will have to face a jury.
I've seen him drink a cup of water with tiny hands,
While he's lyin' in bed watching Fox and Friends."
While it's still far from the bilious treatment Trump receives regularly from Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers — and done under cover of a character and, well, a cover — it still telegraphs Fallon's willingness to take the kid gloves off (with the chunky '70s cardigan on).