ABC late night host Jimmy Kimmel now admits his network’s executives were right when they advised him to not make then-presidential candidate Donald Trump such a focus of his, at times, very harsh humor.
“Naked Lunch” podcaster Phil Rosenthal asked the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” host on Thursday if ABC executives ever asked him to be more of an equal opportunity jokester to minimize the risk of losing viewers.
The comedian conceded that was “hinted at” by the network brass.
“You’re right. I have lost half of my fans — maybe more than that,” Kimmel recalled telling them.
“Ten years ago, among Republicans, I was the most popular talk show host,” based on the network’s research, he explained to Rosenthal and “Naked Lunch” co-host David Wild.
“I just said, ‘Listen, if that’s what you want to do, I understand and I don’t begrudge you for it, but I’m not going to do that,’” Kimmel said. “If you want somebody else to host the show, then that’s fine. That’s OK with me. I’m just not gonna do it like that,” he said.
By Kimmel’s telling, the ABC brass realized he was “serious” in his threat to quit rather than ease up on Trump, so they let him be.
Rosenthal commended Kimmel, saying that he, along with other liberal late-night hosts Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers, are doing a “public service.”
Kimmel responded that he feels “proud” to be part of that group.
“There is a sacrifice that you make when it comes to your audience, and you could do pretty well if you just stayed right down the middle,” he said.
Rosenthal also noted that Kimmel just signed a new three-year contract with ABC.
“I want to be on the air when Donald Trump goes to jail,” Kimmel said. “I very much want that.”
Rosenthal laughed and said, “What a beautiful sentiment.”
He followed up, asking what Kimmel’s gut tells him about whether Trump will go to jail.
Kimmel first acknowledged, “My gut always tells me the wrong thing when it comes to Donald Trump.”
Maybe he should exercise that humility a little further when it comes to Trump.
Trump’s presidency was marked by U.S. energy independence, brokering multiple peace agreements in the Middle East and a booming economy, with the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years.
It should be further noted, Trump was the first president in decades not to start a new war.
What a contrast to everything America is dealing with now under President Joe Biden: inflation, rising crime, turmoil overseas …
Kimmel thinks Trump will be convicted of some crime.
“I still believe that justice triumphs in America, and I know there are a billion different examples to the contrary, but there just seems to be too many different cases against him,” Kimmel said.
It’s truly astounding how blind people like Kimmel can be as to what truly constitutes justice.
Justice is not targeting a man and searching for a crime.
Kimmel would have done far better to follow the Johnny Carson and Jay Leno model, taking good-natured shots at both sides of the political aisle.
Laughter is good for the soul, but unlike times past, half of America can’t find it on late-night television.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.