Jimmy Kimmel revealed on the most recent episode of the “Naked Lunch” podcast that he threatened to quit his ABC talk show, “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” when ABC executives expressed apprehension over him telling jokes about Donald Trump. It appears the execs once spoke to Kimmel about laying off Trump in order to not alienate Republican viewers. Kimmel said ABC execs were right in their apprehension, as he estimates he lost around half of his audience due to Trump jokes.
“There was one time, right around the beginning of this whole Trump thing.. maybe not quite [eight years ago],” Kimmel said when asked if ABC ever expressed concern to him about attacking Trump. “I said listen I get it, you’re right. I have lost half of my fanbase, maybe more. Ten years ago, among Republicans I was the most popular talk show. At least according to the research they did.”
Kimmel continued, “I get it if [blocking Trump jokes is] what they want to do. I said, ‘If that’s what you want to do I don’t begrudge you for it, but I’m not going to do that. If you want someone else to host the show, that’s fine with me. I’m just not going to do it like that.’”
ABC agreed to let Kimmel continue making Trump jokes, he said, adding, “I was serious. I couldn’t live with myself [if I didn’t grill Trump].”
“I want to be on the air when Donald Trump goes to jail,” Kimmel also said, referencing his recent deal to continue hosting “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” for another three seasons. “I still believe, even after living through the O.J. [Simpson] trial, that justice triumphs in America and I know there are a billion different examples to the contrary. [But] how can you commit this many crimes and be this unethical and be this terrible and get away with it?”
Watch Kimmel’s full appearance on the “Naked Lunch” podcast in the video below.
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