It looks like NBC’s feud with Donald Trump didn’t last long. Ah, how short the attention span of the public (and those who entertain them) is. The controversial blowhard/presidential candidate has been confirmed as one of the first guests for the fall season premiere of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, reports Variety.
The appearance will mark Trump’s return to NBC after the network cut ties with him as host of Celebrity Apprentice as well as the Trump-owned Miss USA and Miss Universe beauty pageants following his inflammatory remarks about Mexican immigrants, which, if you’ll recall, included this statement regarding those crossing the border illegally: “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people …”
Trump will appear on the September 11 episode of The Tonight Show – a sensitive date, marking the 14-year anniversary of 9-11. But his appearance is also likely a strategic decision for another reason: the episode will follow the NFL’s premiere game on September 10, which is expected to attract 25 million+ viewers.
Don’t be surprised if you see Trump’s upcoming appearance being heavily promoted during that game, which features the Pittsburgh Steelers versus the New England Patriots — the latter team towing its own controversy due to Brady’s Deflategate scandal over deflated footballs in the AFC Conference Championship game last year.
Trump will use the platform to discuss his campaign, and likely attempt to reach a younger audience. Also appearing on the episode is Terrence Howard (Empire) and musical guest Pharrell Williams.
The episode is bound to bring in the ratings, which is particularly important that week: the rival late night show The Late Show with new host Stephen Colbert (who’s taking over for David Letterman) premieres that same week. Colbert’s guest list for that day will be red-hot comedian Amy Schumer and Stephen King. Comedy against the Trump circus? It’ll be a tough choice. Thank goodness for DVRs.
Trump joins an already jam-packed celebrity guest list for the first week of The Tonight Show’s new season, including Justin Timberlake, Richard Gere, Keith Urban, Jessica Simpson, Ellen Degeneres, and Andy Samberg.
While late night talk shows are mostly about entertainment, they have proven to be an influencing source in political debates, and a way for candidates to reach audiences they might not otherwise reach, serving as a a more casual platform. With Colbert joining the fray, chances are that this campaign will be a highly contended battle in late night.
But let’s cut to the chase about what viewers really want to know: will Fallon do his epic impression of Trump for the presidential candidate? We’ll have to wait and find out.