Jimmy Kimmel says he has no regrets after Republican viewers switch off: 'Not good riddance, but riddance!'

Mythili Sampathkumar
New York
Monday 16 October 2017 22:03 BST
Jimmy Kimmel says he does not regret alienating viewers with his politics

Late night television show host Jimmy Kimmel has dismissed losing Republican viewers in light of his controversial segments on healthcare and gun control and said: "Not good riddance, but riddance!"

Indeed, he told a US broadcaster he would "do it again in a heartbeat".

“I want everyone with a television to watch the show,” Mr Kimmel.

He told CBS that he was liked equally by both Republicans and Democrats just three years ago.

But the number of more politically conservative numbers “went way down - like 30 per cent”, he said.

The less than ideal ratings numbers aside, Mr Kimmel, said: “If they’re so turned off by my opinion on health care and gun violence, then I don’t know. I probably won’t want to have a conversation with them anyway.”

Jimmy Kimmel cries about mass shooting in Las Vegas

The Jimmy Kimmel Live host was not always a political comedian or commentator, but told the New York Times that Donald Trump’s presidency had pushed him in that direction.

Back in May, Mr Kimmel gave emotional monologue on Republicans’ proposed replacement of Obamacare by telling the story of how his son Billy was born with a defect that required heart surgeries and a lengthy hospital stay.

“You know, before 2014, if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there’s a good chance you’d never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition...If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make,” Mr Kimmel said on his show.

Pundits took to rating the various versions of the replacement bill, the latest is the Graham-Cassidy bill, by the “Jimmy Kimmel test” based on the provisions of pre-existing coverage that saved Billy’s life.

In the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting during which 58 people died and almost 500 were injured, Mr Kimmel said on his show: "It's the kind of thing that makes you want to throw up or give up."

Stephen Paddock fired several hundred rounds from a perch on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino into a crowd of 22,000 people attending the Route 91 Harvest country music festival.

"I don't know why our so-called leaders continue to allow this to happen, or maybe a better question, why do we continue to let them to allow it to happen?,” Mr Kimmel said, on the verge of tears.

“Some things are more important than bringing in a big audience,” he told the newspaper, adding that he hopes one day the country can return to focusing on a “well-rounded show” that is more about celebrities like Beyonce and Jay-Z rather than politicians.

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