Jimmy Fallon has opened up on his widely-criticised interview with then presidential candidate Donald Trump, saying he was "devastated" at the negative reaction online.

The late night TV host and comedian came under fire when Trump appeared on The Tonight Show in September. The interview was condemned for being too soft on Trump, with Fallon declining to challenge the politician on any of his divisive comments and instead asking him if he could ruffle his hair.

Viewers quickly accused Fallon of "humanising" Trump, something which Fallon has now refuted.

"I didn’t do it to humanize him," he told The New York Times. "I almost did it to minimize him. I didn’t think that would be a compliment: ‘He did the thing that we all wanted to do.’"

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The 42-year-old TV host went on to say that he paid attention to the backlash and took it to heart.

"I’m a people pleaser," he said. "If there’s one bad thing on Twitter about me, it will make me upset. So, after this happened, I was devastated. I didn’t mean anything by it. I was just trying to have fun."

Fallon added that he regrets not addressing the controversy on air. "I didn’t talk about it, and I should have talked about it," he said. "I regret that."

However, he concluded by saying he won't be changing his direction on the show he has been doing.

"I tossed and turned for a couple of weeks, but I have to make people laugh," he said. "People that voted for Trump watch my show as well."