Authored by Naveen Athrappully via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
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.
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.
In 2018, Fallon apologized for ruffling Trump’s hair during a cordial interview weeks before the 2016 presidential race. Anti-trump critics claimed that the action had humanized Trump and helped him in the elections.
Sketch comedy program “Saturday Night Live,” which has been very biased in how it treats Trump as against Biden, has also suffered a drop in audience numbers.
According to an analysis by Fox News, the show only satirized Biden three times during his first year in office. In contrast, Trump was satirized at least 11 times in his first year. In 2017, the show used to average 7.4 million viewers, which has now fallen to 4.7 million.