Comedy Veteran Jon Lovitz recently took aim at Jimmy Kimmel Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert for politicizing late-night comedy during a recent interview with Fox News.
Jon who himself has been a part of the ‘Saturday Night Live’ cast in his previous years, was asked about the transformation of comedy over the years.
The 66-year-old who has been a comedian for over 40 years highlighted the polarization of late-night shows since the beginning of the Trump era.
“I don’t like it. I don’t like it,” began Jon. “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.”
He described how, in the Letterman era, “Late Show” appearances were more of a chat show style than a true “comedy show,” with interviews more organized as a “routine” to allow Letterman to “highlight” his guests before the recording. This is not like 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,” he added.
“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.”
Following his cordial interview with the then-candidate Donald Trump, weeks before the 2016 election, liberals turned to call out Jimmy Fallon over his humanitarian behaviour with politicians, regardless of their politics.
Unlike Jimmy, his colleagues have made it a cornerstone of their programs and this according to Jon is 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.”