Jimmy Kimmel‘s made no secret of his morbid obsession with TV pillow pitchman-turned-Trump conspiracy peddler Mike Lindell. And given our human propensity for staring directly at a car crash, it was hardly surprising when Kimmel invited Lindell to appear as a guest, but under two very specific conditions: Lindell had to appear in person, and the interview would be conducted on a bed, with both host and guest surrounded by pillows. Lindell’s answer was a resounding ye — California king-sized cuddling and all. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions (and Lindell just laughing when asked if he had been vaccinated) a trusty old desk-and-couch setup had to do. But Kimmel didn’t waste any time doling out Jimmy Fallon-patented hair tussles.
“In our nation’s long and storied history, only one pillow man has ever been called to the Oval Office because our president was unhappy with his election results,” Kimmel said by way of (sadly factually correct) introduction. They managed to cover a lot of ground in the 18-minute conversation, beginning with Lindell’s decades-long addictions—to gambling, alcohol, cocaine, and eventually crack, which resulted in the loss of his bar business, foreclosure on his home, and the dissolution of his marriage.
Though Lindell has been sober since January 16, 2009, Kimmel didn’t seem so sure that the 30-plus years of bodily abuse weren’t to blame for some of the wilder theories the bedding entrepreneur has floated. Lindell was a good sport, laughing where it worked to his advantage and answering Kimmel as seemingly honestly as he could. Still, Kimmel couldn’t shake the feeling that Lindell has been put out there as a kind of patsy for Trump and his cronies to allege unsubstantiated voter fraud claims.
Currently, MyPillow and Lindell are being sued for $1.3 billion (with a b) by Dominion Voting Systems for defamation due to his ongoing insistence that the company’s voting machines were hacked. Lindell recently countersued for $1.6 billion (also with a b) for Dominion’s supposed “suppression of speech and attacks on [MyPillow].” Lindell then claimed, yet again, that he has substantiated proof that Dominion’s voter machines were hacked, and that he’ll be delivering this smoking gun data to the Supreme Court ASAP.
Kimmel had another theory: That finding religion after years of alcohol and drug abuse might have felt like a “divine intervention” for Lindell, leading him to believe that he was put on Earth for a special purpose—and he might very well believe that by allowing himself to be trotted out as a scapegoat for those who were desperate to invalidate the 2020 presidential election results, he’s doing God’s work. “I worry that you are self-destructive,” Kimmel said. “I feel like you’re going to be out dressed as Spider-Man on Hollywood Boulevard at the end of this whole thing.”
Lindell laughed it off, but Kimmel was dead-serious: “I believe that you are sincere. I also think there’s something going on from the crack or whatever.”
Among the other topics covered in the wide-ranging interview, which you can watch in the clip above: Constitutional freedoms. Voter rights. Politics. Racism. Mass killings. Border security. The dangers of drug use. Whether Mike has a Hotmail address (he says now). And does he believe in Bigfoot? Lindell says no, but only because he has never seen one. Give it time, Mike. Give it time.