Jimmy Kimmel & Trump Beef Timeline

BYChristopher Gorrie1264 Views
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A feud between Donald Trump and Jimmy Kimmel has been brewing for years. It bubbled up once again during the 2024 Oscars, where Kimmel responded to Trump's criticisms in real-time.

The feud between Donald Trump and late-night talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel has been going on for almost nine years now. The Kimmel-Trump beef has been slow-cooking for years and has caught on fire once or twice, too. So far this year, the two have fired a couple of shots back and forth in their long-standing volley. Kimmel hosted the Oscars on March 10 and took the opportunity to call out Trump in his monologue. Trump has stewed over the comments for some time, attacking Kimmel on multiple occasions. Over a month later, Kimmel worked some fiery Trump “hush money” trial jabs into his April 16 talk-show monologue. These, of course, only continue to rub Trump the wrong way. Let’s take a look at key points along the Kimmel-Trump feud timeline now.

Trump Cancels Jimmy Kimmel Live Appearance In October 2015 at Last Minute

Every big beef has its humble beginnings. The Kimmel-Trump beef began quietly enough in late October of 2015. Trump was slated for an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live amid a whirlwind of other political appearances on the show. However, he canceled at the last minute, citing an important political event that popped up. Kimmel, in a segment on the Howard Stern Show, thrust a little jab at Trump when he reported that he didn’t “know what happened…we’re delighted, needless to say.”

Kimmel continued mysteriously, claiming that he would not be “interviewing [Trump]. It will be in studio, it’ll be live, and it’ll all make perfect sense when you see it.” During his monologue on the show Trump canceled, Kimme shot some more little pokes at the real estate mogul: “We’re gonna give everyone in the audience a basketball dipped in cologne so you can fully experience what it would have been like had Donald Trump been here.”

Kimmel & Trump In December 2015: Winners Aren’t Losers

The world found out what Kimmel had in store when Trump finally appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live two months later. The presidential nominee appeared more subdued than usual as he sat in the chair beside Kimmel’s desk. After some playful banter back and forth, Kimmel revealed a mock children’s book he “ghostwrote” titled Winners Aren’t Losers. The talk-show host continued on, reading from a portion of the Dr. Seuss-like book: “Winners aren’t losers, they’re winners – like me! A loser’s a loser, which one will you be?” 

Obviously, the book was light-hearted mockery about Trump, though one section may have pushed things a bit further than Trump was comfortable with. “Oh, the places you’ll go on your yacht! On your plane! With your suits from Milan! And your wives from Ukraine!” Though Trump remained good-natured, this new mockery, added to Kimmel’s monologue when Trump canceled his original appearance, certainly set the stage for future altercations.

The Nationwide Text Alert Fiasco Of 2018

After Winners Aren’t Losers, a couple of quiet years passed between the pair, save a heartfelt series of pleas from Kimmel in 2017 regarding Trump’s overhauling of Obamacare. In 2018, Kimmel would reignite the beef after Trump tested a nationwide text alert system on October 3. The system was meant to be used in the event of terrorist attacks or natural disasters, though Kimmel turned it into a mock Hollywood film trailer.

The trailer plays off of Trump’s habit of constantly tweeting his thoughts to the public[ and what this could mean for a national alert system. Part of this was likely inspired by Trump’s viral “covfefe” tweet incident of May 2017. In the trailer, a family of three is driving along when they begin to receive alerts. At first, the father believes it is a tweet from Trump but realizes in horror that it’s a text. Messages reading “No collusion!” and “Witch hunt!” blare through their phone screens. The camera pans to families running from cars in horror and a police officer shooting his cell phone.

Mother’s Day 2020: The Empty Box Twitter Battle

On Mother’s Day in 2020, the Kimmel-Trump beef boiled over. For some of the day, Jimmy Kimmel found himself embroiled in a tweet battle with the former president. It all began when Kimmel posted a video of Mike Pence carrying personal protective equipment to a senior citizen facility. At a certain point in the video, Pence finds empty boxes in a van and asks if he can carry them for the cameras—a joke Kimmel misunderstood because he’d only seen a portion of the video. When this was pointed out to the talk-show host, he apologized and took the video down. However, this was just the start of an online tussle that would carry on throughout the day.

Kimmel thought the issue was settled once he acknowledged his mistake and removed the video. But not long after, he started receiving updates that the president was tweeting about him. It wasn’t just one or two tweets, but a rambling rant by Trump and friends on Kimmel’s “doctored” video. Trump also made a slew of strange comments about alleged and unspecified crimes Barack Obama committed. Amid the flurry of tweets, Trump insulted Kimmel, writing, “More fake news, this time from Jimmy Kimmel’s last place show.” Kimmel sent one tweet back to the president, simply telling him to go make his wife brunch. “This is what the White House is working on and thinking about right now,” Kimmel concluded in an at-home quarantine monologue reviewing the incident.

Rolling Stone Reports That Trump Officials Complained to Disney About Kimmel

In February 2023, Rolling Stone published an article revealing just how much Kimmel’s continuous joking had gotten to Trump during his presidency. Apparently, members of Trump’s administration had contacted Disney, ABC’s parent company, regarding Kimmel’s ongoing jokes. Trump seemed to think that Disney and ABC would act off these calls to do something to “reign in” Kimmel. The Trump officials dealing with the calls to Disney reported that Trump felt Kimmel was being dishonest and that this kind of commentary was something Trump would’ve sued over before he was in public office. The officials noted they felt obliged to make the calls because Trump was so focused on Kimmel's commentaries. They realized that nothing would likely change based on their intervention.

Kimmel-Trump Feud Explodes at the 2024 Oscars

Although the beef between DJT and Jimmy has been simmering for years, no one expected it to completely explode at the 2024 Oscars on March 10. Trump lambasted Kimmel repeatedly on his platform Truth Social during one of the talk show host’s on-stage monologues. The former president wrote things such as, “Has there EVER been a WORSE HOST than Jimmy Kimmel at The Oscars,” and, “His opening was that of a less than average person trying too hard to be something which he is not, and never can be.” Kimmel took the potshots in stride, responding to them in real-time. He smiled as he responded, “Thank you—I’m surprised you’re still watching. Isn’t it past your jail time?” The audience laughed in response to Kimmel’s reference to the ongoing Trump “hush money” trial.

Kimmel Reveals His Plans to Keep Driving Trump Nuts

It seems that Trump has continued to brew over Kimmel’s jabs during the Oscars. He said in a Fox News interview about a week later that Kimmel was both a “lousy host” and “not a talented guy.” He also told the interviewers that “ratings are terrible” for Jimmy Kimmel Live. Kimmel has no plans of slowing down amid Trump’s hush money trial, either. Kimmel joked during an interview on the Seth Meyers's show that he had a “plan” to drive Trump crazy for years to come. He says that if Trump is convicted, he will “commit a crime in the tri-state area with the goal of getting incarcerated along with him, so I can drive him insane from the inside, too.”

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About The Author
Christopher Gorrie is a writing consultant and digital marketer from San Diego, CA. Since completing an MA degree at San Diego State University, he's worked as the Nonfiction Editor of Consequence Forum and a Senior Network Editor for The Arena Group. He is also the founder of Text Sense, a content and digital strategy agency.