Jimmy Kimmel has lost "half [his] fanbase" over his jibes at Donald Trump but threatened to quit his talk show if he was ordered to stop mocking the former president.
Jimmy Kimmel has lost "half [his] fanbase" over his jibes at Donald Trump.
The 54-year-old star threatened to quit his 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' talk show when ABC executives expressed concern his jokes could alienate Republican viewers, and he's admitted they were right to be worried because viewing figures having taken a hit.
Asked if ABC ever expressed concerns about his attacks on the former president, he said: “There was one time, right around the beginning of this whole Trump thing… maybe not quite [eight years ago].
“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.
“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.'”
“I was serious. I couldn’t live with myself [if I didn’t grill Trump].”
Fortunately, executives backed down and Jimmy - who recently agreed a deal to continue hosting the show for another three seasons - hopes he'll still be in his seat if Trump ever gets his comeuppance.
Speaking on the 'Naked Lunch' podcast, he said: “I want to be on the air when Donald Trump goes to jail.
"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?”
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