Over the last few months, Jimmy Kimmel has transitioned from a prankster late night host to a distinct voice of reason. As the politics of the day consumes the American populace, Kimmel has grounded late night shows by wearing his heart on his sleeve and speaking for those who have no voice.
When he revealed his newborn son’s heart surgery, he took a risk at losing viewers as he went in-depth discussing how the repealing of Obamacare could ruin families not as wealthy as his. His pleas to keep policy that would help those less fortunate than him were met by calls that he didn’t know what he was talking about, he was “Hollywood elite.” Then, his hometown of Las Vegas was terrorized by a man with an arsenal of weaponry, and Kimmel was mocked as he teared up while discussing the country’s lacking gun laws.
Now Kimmel is in feuds with the people that are running the country, and it’s leaving some are wondering if late night’s neutrality towards divisive politics will ever return. In a lengthy interview with Vulture, Kimmel isn’t so sure if good days are ahead. It’s reminiscent of people not being able to wait until 2016 was over — how could it get much worse? 2017 has taught us that it can get worse.
There’s definitely been a shift in my feeling about the country over the last year or so. I feel frustrated. I don’t know — maybe a lot of it is media hysteria, but I go to bed worried and I wake up worried, and I honestly don’t know if things are going to be okay. I worry that we’re going to look back at Donald Trump almost fondly because someone worse will come after him… His election was shocking. It makes me question everything.
Kimmel goes on to say that he knows what he’s saying isn’t popular amongst a certain crowd and that he’s likely alienated more people than anything (despite growing in the ratings), but he also isn’t the nightly news. “I guess now I’m supposed to comment on everything that happens? And by the way, it’s not just from the right. Now I see it from the left, ‘Aren’t you going to say anything about fill-in-the-blank?’ That’s not what I do, and if I did, believe me, you’d get bored in a hurry.”
If anything, the best possible scenario is one in which he doesn’t have to be concerned about the country taking away health care or, or nearly 600 people in Las Vegas being shot with legally-owned weapons. Until then, it seems like most will keep watching and listening as he sheds his own light on the subjects.