This is gonna be yooge: Republican presidential front-runner and former reality star Donald Trump will sit down for a conversation with Jimmy Fallon on the Sept. 11 episode of “The Tonight Show,” NBC announced Tuesday.
It’s a big “get” for “Tonight” as it braces for competition from Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” beginning Sept. 8. Though Trump has been making the rounds of cable news and morning shows and inspired a slew of punch lines, the “Tonight Show” visit will be his first late-night appearance since announcing his candidacy in June.
It’s also worth noting that Trump appears, for now, to have forgiven NBC, the network that cut business ties with the “Celebrity Apprentice” host and owner of the Miss USA pageant in July after Trump made inflammatory statements about Mexicans. Trump in turn slammed NBC as “weak” and threatened legal action.
Whether the “Tonight Show” visit signals a permanent truce, or Trump is simply willing to temporarily bury the hatchet in exchange for some publicity, remains to be seen.
At the Television Critics Assn. summer gathering in August, NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt said Trump would “absolutely not” return to host “Celebrity Apprentice” but would be welcome on the network’s late-night shows. Trump has also appeared on NBC’s “Today” and on “Morning Joe” on corporate sister network MSNBC.
Fallon is pulling out the big guns opposite Colbert’s premiere week at “Late Show.” Other “Tonight Show” guests for the week of Sept. 8 include Justin Timberlake, Ellen DeGeneres and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who will appear Sept. 9 in an episode that will be broadcast on a digital billboard between 45th and 46th streets in Times Square -- within spitting distance of the Ed Sullivan Theater, home of “Late Show.” (Surely, it’s just a coincidence.)
Trump will be the third Republican candidate to visit “Tonight” this election cycle, following former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who slow-jammed the news back in June, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who stopped by Monday.
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