Popular television host Jimmy Kimmel has revealed that he has lost at least half of his fanbase after cracking jokes against former president Donald Trump.
“I have lost half of my fans—maybe more than that,” Kimmel said in an interview with Stitcher’s “Naked Lunch” podcast. “Ten years ago, among Republicans, I was the most popular talk show host, at least according to the research that they did.” The “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” show has been airing on ABC since 2003.
When Trump was first running for office, executives at ABC had “hinted” that Kimmel would be better off backing away from anti-Trump jokes.
However, the comedian insisted that he is not going to stop joking about Trump despite agreeing that more neutral comedy would help the ratings of his show.
Kimmel told executives that they can hire someone else to host the show if they want but according to Kimmel, they backed off when they knew he was “serious.”
Claiming that he was “proud” to speak against Trump, Kimmel went on to joke about still airing shows when the former president “goes to jail.”
The comedian also defended current president Joe Biden, saying that he is a “decent human being” no matter what anyone thinks about him. Biden is “certainly not evil” and those who believe so have got “some real problems,” Kimmel said.
Kimmel’s show has struggled to get viewers in recent times, with ratings significantly dropping during the past few years. In 2016, Jimmy Kimmel Live garnered 2.2 million viewers on average, a number that has declined by over a third to 1.5 million in 2022.
Talk Show Audience Drop, Bias Against Trump
Kimmel isn’t the only talk show host who has seen audience numbers fall in the past years. Other liberal hosts have also seen a decline in viewership.
NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” which attracted around 1.5 million viewers in 2016 now only has a viewership of 786,000, according to Fox. CBS’ “The Late Late Show” has lost 36 percent of viewers during this period. Jimmy Fallon, the host of “Tonight Show” has seen viewership decline by almost 60 percent.