Jimmy Kimmel said that while he was worried his increasingly political show might cost him some of his less political fans, right now he doesn't have a choice to talk about politics

By Maria Pasquini
October 16, 2017 02:57 PM


Jimmy Kimmel hasn’t always critically addressed government officials on his show, but right now, he says he doesn’t have a choice.

In an interview with The New York Times on Sunday, the host of Jimmy Kimmel Live! was asked whether he felt worried that his increasingly political show might cost him some of his fans. “It concerns me, but not enough to change what I’m doing,” said Kimmel, 49.

“Of course, you want as many people to watch your show as possible. But some things are more important than bringing in a big audience,” he continued. “I hope that we, as a nation, get back to a time where I can have a normal, well-rounded show, that’s more focused on Beyoncé and JAY-Z than Donald and Ivanka [Trump]. But for the time being, this is what’s at the forefront of people’s minds.”

Kimmel, who’s spoken out against the GOP-led effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, added that discussing more politicized topics “does make you think a little bit more about what you say and maybe [make] you choose your words a bit more carefully.”

Still, he said, “I don’t ever want to get in a situation where I feel compelled to speak about every tragedy, every natural disaster, every murder or car accident or whatever horrible things are going on in the world. If I do that, no one will be interested. You can overdo it.

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Asked about Jimmy Fallon‘s recent interview with Sunday Today in which the Tonight Show host explained the lack of Trump coverage on his show by saying, “it’s just not what I do,” Kimmel said not every comedian has to take on a political point of view right now.

“There are people who don’t care about politics. I certainly know people who care much more about football. Although it’s hard to tell what is football and what is politics nowadays,” Kimmel continued, referencing the ongoing NFL “Take a Knee” protest.

The comedian also shared n update on his son Billy, who underwent open heart surgery when he was just 3 days old.

“He’s doing well,” Kimmel said of Billy, who is almost 6 months old now. “He’s going to have another operation coming up soon, and another when he’s around 8 to 10 years old. But he’s doing well.”

Kimmel went public with his son’s heart condition — Billy had a congenital defect, called tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia, preventing his lungs from getting enough oxygen — on his show but said “in retrospect,” maybe he should have hesitated to share all of those details.

“What I didn’t think through was that everywhere I went, every day of my life, people would be asking me how my son is doing,” he said.

Jimmy Kimmel (left) with son Billy, daughter Jane and wife Molly McNearney in Sept. 2017.
Khloe Kardashian/Snapchat

“But thank God I can say he’s doing well. If that wasn’t the case, each day would be very very painful. But I also felt like I had to say something,” he added. “Because I’d been talking about the fact that my wife [Molly McNearney] was pregnant for six months. I left for paternity leave and then I didn’t come back. That was something I had to address.”