Jimmy Kimmel threatened to quit if stopped from targeting Trump


Jimmy Kimmel said he threatened to quit his late-night show if he was barred from attacking former President Donald Trump — even though his endless barbs cost him at least half his audience.

Kimmel, 54, admitted during a podcast interview that ABC execs “hinted” that he should not go after Republicans every night “around the beginning of this whole Trump thing.”

“I just said, ‘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,’” the host told Sticher’s “The Naked Lunch” podcast Thursday.

“If you want someone else to host the show, then that’s fine, that’s OK with me — I’m just not gonna do it like that,” Kimmel recalled he said.

The late-night funnyman gave the ultimatum despite admitting that the execs were “right.”

“I just said, ‘Listen, I get it — I don’t disagree, I mean you’re right,’” he told the podcasters.

“I have lost half of my fanbase, maybe more,” he said, suggesting that research had shown that before Trump he was “the most popular talk show” for Republicans.

Then presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a thumbs up while posing with Jimmy Kimmel during a 2016 appearance on his show.
Kimmel admitted his bias against Trump still motivates him, saying he likes his show because “I want to be on the air when Donald Trump goes to jail.”
Disney General Entertainment Con

Still, despite the crushing hit to his ratings, Kimmel said the execs backed down and never pushed back.

“They knew I was serious,” he said, insisting he “couldn’t live with myself” if he held back his anger at the 45th commander-in-chief.

Jimmy Kimmel smiles on set of his show.
Kimmel bragged about refusing to give Trump a pass even though he “lost half of my fanbase, maybe more.”
ABC via Getty Images

His bias still drives him to this day, he admitted.

“I want to be on the air when Donald Trump goes to jail,” he said when asked what enjoyment he still gets from hosting “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

“I very much want that. I think I would be heartbroken if I was not a part of that,” he said.

Jimmy Kimmel revealed on the most recent episode of Sticher’s “Naked Lunch” podcast that he threatened to quit his ABC talk show,
Despite the crushing hit to his ratings, Kimmel said the execs backed down and never pushed back.
YouTube / The Naked Lunch Podcas
Former President Donald Trump at a rally in Iowa on Thursday.
“That flag doesn’t belong to them,” Kimmel said of his anger at Trump and his supporters.
Getty Images

After podcast co-host Phil Rosenthal told Kimmel that he was doing a “public service” by targeting Trump, Kimmel insisted: “I love this country too.”

“That flag doesn’t belong to them. And when I see somebody coming in and ruining it, I’m gonna say something about it. That’s it. It’s as simple as that.”

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