Jimmy Kimmel took questions from TV critics at a press conference in Beverly Hills on Monday and weighed in on the recent tragic mass shootings, his on-air punditry, and whether he’d ever run for elected office.
On the mass shootings in Ohio and Texas over the weekend: “[Trump] handles everything beautifully. As you know it’s horrible and there’s an expectation that late-night talk shows will address these horrible things and I wish we didn’t have to but nobody is doing anything about it at all and we seem to forget about these tragedies four days after they happen. My hope always in situations that I know I don’t have any thoughts that are new or groundbreaking…but to just remind people that 97 percent of Americans believe we should have background checks for purchases at gun shows and our politicians don’t seem to care about what we think anymore.”
On what role late-night hosts have in doing political or topical commentary: “David Letterman got that ball rolling then Jon Stewart said — and still continues to say — a lot of important things. I just don’t know what alternative there is. You watch the news all day and see what’s going on, how do you walk on stage and ignore it? I wish I could. It’s hard to talk about serious subjects… I want to be funny. When people watch a late-night television show people feel like they know you want to know what you think … I wish we didn’t have to do it so frequently.”
On whether he considered retiring before signing his new three-year deal: “I was seriously considering — I don’t know if it’s ‘retirement’ because I’d always do something. I know what this sounds like, but I really do like [his network and studio executives] and I felt appreciated and that’s important. Even if you have a job that people think of as glamorous, you want to feel like your company is behind you and I do. And also a lot of my relatives would be unemployed if I quit the show.
On hostless Oscars and whether he’d host a third time: “It’s a no-win type situation. it’s a very difficult job. Even when it seems like it went great you go home and realize, “Oh people [didn’t like it]’. If you don’t care what people think it’s great. I do [care] so it’s kind of a f–king nightmare … The fact that ratings on the Oscars was higher [without a host] was because the show was shorter, and if they do it again they’ll find that’s the case.”
On partnering with former The Apprentice producer Mark Burnett for his Live in Front of a Studio Audience specials: “If you’re asking me if will I remind him 50 times a day [that he helped Trump become president] I will … But there’s no way Mark Burnett has the vision that this monster would become president. And if he does, then we should all be paying more attention to everything Mark does.”
On whether he’d ever run for political office: “I will never run for office … I was the coach of my son’s basketball team and I couldn’t deal with that — all the parents coming up trying to get their kids more [time in the game] … and I would be like, ‘You want to coach this team?!’ And I feel like I would be like that … somehow I’ve become an example of political correctness and I’m not at all. There are just certain things that are so crazy I can’t believe we’re not all screaming about them 24 hours a day.”
Kimmel made the comments while appearing supporting his ABC late-night show Jimmy Kimmel Live at the Television Critics Association’s press tour.
Updates to come…