Some late-night talk shows are wading into serious political criticism in a move that critics think goes beyond their mandate to make fun of the daily news.
President Trump on Saturday took on late-night shows in a pair of tweets that slammed “unfunny” and “anti-Trump” jokes. He also demanded “equal time” for Republicans amid what he deemed “one-sided coverage.”
Jimmy Kimmel, host of an ABC late-night show, has emerged as a leader among hosts willing to spar with Washington Republicans.
He became a key celebrity voice earlier this year against GOP efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, breaking on occasion from his typical comedic monologues to address more weighty policy issues.
“Health care is complicated. It’s boring. I don’t want to talk about it. The details are confusing, and that’s what these guys are relying on,” the “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” host said on his show last month, referring to lawmakers who backed a now-defunct GOP bill to overhaul the nation’s health-care system.
“They’re counting on you to be so overwhelmed with all the information you just trust them to take care of you, but they’re not taking care of you,” he told his audience.
Trump’s insurgent 2016 presidential bid and ensuing tenure in the White House have also breathed new life into NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” The long-running sketch comedy has racked up its highest ratings in decades this year as viewers tuned in to witness Alec Baldwin’s weekly takes on the president’s latest actions.
Trump hasn’t been shy about pushing back against the parody. He has called SNL “unwatchable” and biased and said “the Baldwin impersonation just can’t get any worse.”
But getting a response from Trump only seems to spur on late night hosts. Kimmel, responding to Trump on Saturday, joked the president could take over his show if he quit his own “boring job.”
Here are five recent pointed political digs from late night talk show hosts:
Kimmel hits Trump over “fake news” complaints
After Trump suggested on Thursday that congressional investigators should look into so-called “fake news” by mainstream outlets, like MSNBC, Kimmel sought to turn the argument against the president himself.
“The other irony is no one — no breathing human on the planet Earth — produces more fake news than Donald…
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