Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Jimmy Kimmel makes a long shot appeal for Donald Trump to end his government shutdown

Jimmy Kimmel
Screenshot: Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Jimmy Kimmel hasn’t been subtle about his disdain for the current president over the two years since Donald Trump took office. (Yes, it has only been two years.) The latest act to incur Kimmel’s snarky ire is the Trump-mandated, now 26-day-long shutdown of the entire United States federal government in a snit over building what Kimmel called Trump’s “magical, Mexican-proof wall” along the entire southern border. You know, like prisons have. Well, Kimmel’s been using his late-night ABC platform to needle Trump about how his petulant, racist tantrum is depriving hundreds of thousands of federal employees of their paychecks, recently pledging to hire one such non-consensually furloughed worker a day on ABC’s dime until the shutdown is over. (Wednesday’s temp hire was NASA lead systems engineer John Saltzman, whose button pushing skills were employed working the audience applause sign.)

Still, pissed-off Kimmel is the most entertaining Kimmel, and the host used part of his Wednesday monologue to make a direct appeal tailored specifically to what he imagined Trump finds most galling about the ongoing hardship his bigoted, increasingly sweaty Game Of Thrones fantasy is inflicting upon the nation. No, not that “thousands of Americans are being forced to work without paychecks” or that vital services (Kimmel named food inspection, TSA, and anti-terrorism efforts) are being curtailed. Nope, Kimmel claimed he knew that what’s really eating away at Trump’s “Kentucky fried little heart” is how public perception is keeping him away from the golf course. Noting that Trump hasn’t been able to go golfing for an unprecedented 52 days, Kimmel claimed that that’s what was killing Trump more than his notoriously terrible (and low-rent) diet. Noting that we need Trump on the golf course in order to keep him from doing literally anything else (like, just spitballing here, transparently acceding to the world-imperiling demands of a hostile foreign dictator with whom he colluded in order to get elected), Kimmel made his appeal right to the source. It has to work better than an appeal to Trump’s nonexistent concern for working people, common sense, human decency, or anything else not gaudily branded with the Trump name, anyway.

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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.