EXCLUSIVE – Actor and comedian Jon Lovitz took aim at the politicization of late night comedy, calling out liberal hosts Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers during an exclusive interview with FOX News Digital.
Lovitz, who’s been a comedy icon for nearly 40 years since his days as a “Saturday Night Live” cast member, was asked about the transformation of comedy over the years and drew attention to how polarizing late night shows have become since the Trump era.
“I don’t like it. I don’t like it,” Lovitz said. “They were comedy shows. And now, except for Jimmy Fallon, they’ve all become very political. And for me, it’s just- it’s too much.”
“I mean, Johnny Carson would, you know, he would do two or three jokes about whoever was president then or what was going on then and that was it. But they were entertainment shows,” he said. “I know all those guys. And they’re very nice guys. Very talented. I know Seth. I know Stephen Colbert. I know Jimmy Kimmel. I think they’re funny, you know. But when they started doing the political stuff, like, so one-sided, it’s like- and that’s all it is, the whole thing, it’s just like, that’s not the shows that I used to go on. You know, it was ‘The Tonight Show’ and David Letterman.”
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Lovitz recalled how during his Letterman-era “Late Show” appearances, it was truly a “comedy show” but in the talk show format, and how interviews were more structured as a “routine” so Letterman could help “highlight” his guests ahead of the taping. This contrasts with today.
“It’s their show. They can do whatever they want. But you’re asking me, do I like it, and I’m like, no,” Lovitz said. “If I want the news, I’ll watch the news. I’m not watching those shows. They’re late night entertainment, but it’s all political, except for Jimmy Fallon. And they keep getting mad at Jimmy. ‘Why don’t you go into politics?’ Because he’s doing a silly, like, escapism entertainment show.”
Liberals turned on Fallon following his cordial interview with then-candidate Donald Trump just weeks before the 2016 presidential election. Fallon, who had previously welcomed Hillary Clinton onto his show twice, invited his former NBC colleague for a similarly friendly chat, which ended with the host tousling Trump’s hair.
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Anti-Trump critics have said that interview humanized Trump and perhaps ultimately aided the Republican candidate on Election Day. In 2018, Fallon apologized and called it a “mistake.”
While Fallon hasn’t leaned into partisanship, his late-night colleagues like Colbert and Kimmel have made it a cornerstone of their programs. Lovitz tells FOX News Digital they’re prioritizing politics over comedy.
“They just hammer it to death… they’ve become. ‘Here’s my political agenda.’ They’re very open about it,” Lovitz said. “And I’m like, well, all right. I have no say in that. It’s their show, you know. But I don’t particularly- I don’t like that they’ve become that because where’s the comedians and the stand-up and the bits, you know, like Letterman. It was comedy.”
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In addition to “SNL,” Lovitz has starred in films like “A League of Their Own” and “Rat Race” and has been featured in a slew of Adam Sandler comedies. More recently, he has made regular appearances on Byron Allen’s comedic game show “Funny You Should Ask” and regularly tours across the country doing stand-up, including monthly appearances at The Laugh Factory at the Tropicana in Las Vegas.