Jimmy Kimmel says he’s willing to walk away from his longtime late-night hosting gig if his bosses at ABC ask him to stop making jokes about presidential hopeful Donald Trump.
“Jimmy Kimmel Live!” the comedian who has been the host. online since 2003, He said on the most recent episode of Sticher’s “Naked Lunch” podcast that he was willing to quit his job if he was restricted.
Kimmel said the concern was “suggested.” executives “around the beginning of this Trump thing,” when the network’s research says he lost half his fans, “maybe more,” when he started making more jokes about the former reality star.
“Ten years ago, among Republicans, I was the most popular debate presenter. At least, according to the research they did,” Kimmel said.
But despite the incident, which was popular among certain circles, Kimmel said at the time that he wasn’t ready to give up making jokes about Trump.
“I said, ‘If that’s what you want to do, I understand, I don’t pity you, but I’m not going to do it. If you want someone else to host the show, that’s fine with me. I’m not going to do it that way,'” Kimmel recalled saying.
CNN has reached out to ABC for comment.
Kimmel has tapped the likes of David Letterman and former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart to tackle more difficult topics, including sharp political issues.
“You watch the news all day, you see what’s going on, how do you walk on stage and ignore it? It doesn’t work anymore,” Kimmel said in 2019. “I wish I did. I find it difficult to talk about serious matters. It takes a lot out of me. I want to be funny. That’s fun.”
Kimmel renewed his deal with ABC earlier this year, keeping him in the hosting chair for another three years. His contract would expire in 2023.