While Jimmy Fallon gently tousles the hair of political topics and Stephen Colbert cuts at them with satirical precision, Jimmy Kimmel has approached healthcare “reform” and gun control with honest, emotional pleas about the importance of not letting children die. He has received some criticism for this approach, mostly from assholes like Donald Trump, but Kimmel recently revealed in an interview with Oprah Winfrey for O magazine that he’s actually noticed some backlash to his political monologues.
“According to polls I’ve seen,” Kimmel told Winfrey, “it has cost me commercially. That’s not ideal, but I wouldn’t change anything I said.” That quote comes from ET Online, which doesn’t expand on what Kimmel means any further than that, so we don’t know if he literally means he read polls saying some people stopped watching Jimmy Kimmel Live! or if his ratings have dipped. He’s cool with it either way, and Kimmel went on to tell Winfrey that he knows his job is mostly “to entertain people,” but he does want to take opportunities to “be selfish” and talk about serious things from time to time.
Kimmel’s political turn ramped up last year when his son was born with a congenital heart defect, a condition that might not have been covered by insurance under the pre-Affordable Care Act system—meaning it could’ve essentially been a death sentence. Kimmel evidently thought it was absurd that a child’s life could be put at such a risk by the whims of the government, so he has used his platform since then to address topics like that.