Jimmy Kimmel: ‘I Lost Half of My Base’ Over Donald Trump Jokes

The late-night host says he told ABC he’d rather quit that stop making fun of Trump

Jimmy Kimmel said that his barrage of jokes on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” aimed at former President Donald Trump cut his audience in half over the last 10 years — and that ABC was not happy about it.

Speaking on Stitcher’s Naked Lunch podcast on Thursday, guest Kimmel remembered acknowledging his dwindling audience, telling the network, “I have lost half of my fan[base], maybe more than that.”

As he told hosts Phil Rosenthal and David Wild, “10 years ago, among Republicans, I was the most popular talk show host, at least according to the research that they did.”

When asked if the network ever asked him to lay off Trump, he said there was one discussion about it, but he offered to quit. “If you want somebody else to host the show, that’s fine, that’s okay with me. I’m just not going to do it like that,” he said, and the network, somewhat reluctantly according to him, said, “All right.”

Kimmel added, “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?”

Trump has been subpoenaed to appear before the Jan. 6 Committee, but has not yet agreed to talk to them about the 2021 insurrection.