Jimmy Kimmel says he would quit his show if ABC asked him to stop making Trump jokes



CNN

Jimmy Kimmel says he was ready to quit his late-night hosting gig if his bosses at ABC asked him to stop making jokes about then-presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

The comedian, who has hosted “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on the web since 2003, he said on the most recent episode of Sticher’s “Naked Lunch” podcast that he was willing to quit his job if the restriction was imposed.

Kimmel said the concern was “implied” by executives “around the beginning of this whole Trump thing,” when he says the network’s investigation found he lost half of his fan base — “maybe more” — as he started making more jokes on the former reality star.

“Ten years ago, among Republicans, he was the most popular talk show host. At least according to the research they did,” Kimmel said.

But regardless of this slide in popularity among certain circles, Kimmel said at the time that he simply wasn’t willing to refrain from making jokes about Trump.

“I said, ‘If that’s what you want to do, I understand, I don’t mind, but I’m not going to do it.’ If you want someone else to host the show, that’s fine with me. I’m just not going to do it like that,’” Kimmel recalled.

CNN has reached out to ABC for comment.

Kimmel has previously credited the likes of David Letterman and former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart for being leaders in how to tackle tougher topics, including hot-button political issues.

“You watch the news all day, you see what’s going on, how can you get on stage and not do it? It just doesn’t work anymore,” Kimmel said in 2019. “I wish I could. It’s hard for me to talk about serious issues. I it brings out a lot. I want to be funny. This is fun.”

Kimmel renewed his deal with ABC earlier this year that will keep him in the hosting chair for three more years. His contract was due to expire in 2023.

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