"I don't know if you've seen my ratings the past two years, but you didn't help my ratings," Fallon tells Trump.
More than any other host in late-night, Jimmy Fallon generally tries to keep "The Tonight Show" out of the political fray. On Monday morning, though, Donald Trump yanked him in by insulting him via Twitter, so Fallon had no choice but to respond.
The NBC star started off with a bit of cheek at the top of his monologue by giving "a shout-out to our number-one fan, the President of the United States."
He then spoke directly to the first lady for a moment. "Melania, if you're watching, I don't think your anti-bullying campaign is working," he said into the camera. "It's not working."
But even that wasn't the thing that irked him the most about the whole thing. Fallon admitted he was initially going to respond back immediately to the president's tweet, but then he realized he had more important things to do.
"Then I thought, wait, shouldn't he have more important things to do?" Fallon asked. "He's the president. What are you doing? You're the president. Why are you tweeting at me?"
.@jimmyfallon is now whimpering to all that he did the famous “hair show” with me (where he seriously messed up my hair), & that he would have now done it differently because it is said to have “humanized” me-he is taking heat. He called & said “monster ratings.” Be a man Jimmy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2018
Later in the show, he delved a little further into what Donald Trump said exactly in his tweet, taking particular issue with Trump's claim that Fallon called him to tout the "monster ratings" of Trump's appearance on the show. "First of all, I've never called this human in my life," Fallon said. "I don't have his number, I don't want his number.
"By the way, Donald, I don't know if you've seen my ratings the past two years, but you didn't help my ratings," he added as a quick aside.
Prior to the election, Fallon had enjoyed a healthy ratings lead over his closest late-night rival Stephen Colbert on CBS, but since the "hair show," as Trump put it, he's seen his ratings decline while Vulture reported that Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel's more topical content has given them notable boosts.
Of course, Fallon isn't going to miss an opportunity to trot out the best Trump impression in late-night. After mentioning that his official Twitter response to the president's attack was to make a donation in his name to RAICES, the organization helping reunite immigrant families in Texas, Fallon's Trump said, "I love RAICES, they're my favorite peanut butter cup. There's no wrong way to eat a RAICES."
Time will tell if Fallon takes this opportunity to get even more political on his show, but we suspect he won't. With everyone being so focused on Trump all the time, Fallon has proven a rare respite from the constant drama and turmoil, and that's where he's more comfortable.
He told "Today" last October, "I don’t really even care that much about politics." Unfortunately, it looks like politics cares about him.