Jimmy Kimmel said his decision to mix comedy and left-wing politics on his late-night show “Jimmy Kimmel Live” has cost him commercially, but he has no regrets.
In the April issue of O magazine, Mr. Kimmel said his decision to get political, specifically his May monologue supporting the Affordable Care Act after his son underwent open-heart surgery, has put a dent in viewership.
“According to polls I’ve seen, it has cost me commercially,” he told Oprah Winfrey. “That’s not ideal, but I wouldn’t change anything I said.
“I know my job is, for the most part, to entertain people and make them laugh,” he added. “That said, if I can be selfish every once in a while and talk about something serious that’s important to me, then I do want to take that opportunity. But I don’t want to abuse my position. I pick my battles. Ninety percent of the time, I’ll joke around, but some of the jokes, I hope, make people think.”
Ms. Winfrey asked Mr. Kimmel if it was “scary” to share so much of his personal life with his audience.
“I don’t know if it was scary, but it was uncomfortable, and it’s not something I looked forward to,” the comedian responded. “I definitely felt a sense of relief when it was over.”
Mr. Kimmel, a frequent President Trump critic who has spoken out on a number of political issues ranging from health care to gun control, bid his right-leaning viewers a farewell in October, saying he had no regrets attacking Republican leadership and “would do it again in a heartbeat.”
“I want everyone with a television to watch the show,” he told CBS at the time. “But 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.”
He also sparked backlash last month after he claimed that most late-night talk show hosts are liberal, because the job “requires a measure of intelligence.”