More people have been talking about Jimmy Kimmel lately than watching his late-night talk show. That’s because he has turned what should be an entertaining evening full of comedy and celebrities into a personal political platform for health care and gun control. In a recent interview with Vulture, Kimmel, 49, gave some insight as to why he has altered the format now that life under President Trump is keeping him up at night.
Kimmel was asked if he believes the future of late-night comedy is in jeopardy now that hosts are dipping their feet into politics. He replied:
“I never really thought about it that way. Maybe you’re right. Maybe we’ll never go back. Maybe the days of fun are over, but I like to think that they aren’t.
“I just think that for me personally, it so happened that my son had a heart operation and then my hometown got attacked. So that’s what prompted me to speak out in a way that a lot of people noticed, but the truth of the matter is, we have been talking about politics for a very long time. I mean, with the exception of one show that I declared a ‘No-Trump Tuesday,’ there wasn’t one night of the year leading up to the election where we didn’t talk about politics. So, for me, it’s always just a matter of what people are talking about and commenting on and what’s going on in the news…
“But I do think that as a talk-show host, you get a lot of reaction if you talk about something seriously.”
Then, Kimmel was asked if he is having some sort of “political awakening,” to which he confirmed:
“There’s definitely been a shift in my feeling about the country over the last year or so. I feel frustrated. I don’t know — maybe a lot of it is media hysteria, but I go to bed worried and I wake up worried, and I honestly don’t know if things are going to be okay. I worry that we’re going to look back at Donald Trump almost fondly because someone worse will come after him… His election was shocking. It makes me question everything.”
Even outdoing himself, Kimmel added, “Yeah, the closest thing I can compare it to is when O.J. got acquitted.”
And what about alienating his conservative audience by turning more political?:
“I think I’ve alienated more people than I’ve brought onboard. But what I thought was important was telling the truth. There are certain things I don’t understand, and the idea that Americans wouldn’t want to take care of each other when they’re sick is one of them. The idea that our politicians would let the gun lobby tell them what to do is another.”
Kimmel also confirmed that winning any conservative fans back is not on his to-do list: “I doubt it. We’ve been divided into teams now as a country… If we can’t get the majority of Americans to agree on some form of gun control after Sandy Hook, I don’t see us agreeing on anything.”
But all we need to know about Kimmel was laid out in the opening paragraph of the interview, because at the end of the day, Jimmy is nothing but an elitist:
“The other day, I had a foie gras hot dog,” says Jimmy Kimmel, dressed in a gray hoodie and baggy jeans, sitting in a makeshift office at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where he was hosting a week of his namesake show, Jimmy Kimmel Live! “That might sound gross, but it was the best hot dog I’ve ever eaten,” he raves. “A foie gras hot dog. That’s me in a nutshell right there.”