Stephen Colbert sharply defends friend Jimmy Kimmel from Trump criticism: ‘I’m mad’

Stephen Colbert has defended his friend Jimmy Kimmel after Donald Trump blasted his performance at the Oscars.

Colbert addressed Trump’s criticism of Kimmel on Wednesday night’s instalment ofThe Late Show, and fiercely told the former president to leave Kimmel alone.

“You keep my friend Jimmy Kimmel’s name out of your weird little wet mouth, OK?” Colbert said sternly.

Colbert continued: “I’m mad. Jimmy Kimmel is my podcast brother from Strike Force Five. And I have vowed to defend him until my death or until the next ad for Mint Mobile.”

“And for the record, sir, Jimmy did an incredible job as host. Oscar viewership was up four per cent. That’s right. This year, four more people watched.”

The CBS late-night show host joked that Trump was “staying laser-focused on the issues that voters care most about”.

“That’s right, in the middle of a presidential campaign and countless federal indictments, he’s obsessed with the Academy Awards from five weeks ago,” Colbert said.

On Wednesday (17 April), Trump posted on his social media platform Truth Social to rip into Kimmel for his “horrendous” performance as the Oscars 2024 host.

“Stupid Jimmy Kimmel, who still hasn’t recovered from his horrendous performance and big ratings drop as Host of The Academy Awards”.

Colbert told Trump to ‘keep my friend Jimmy Kimmel’s name out of your weird little wet mouth’ (Getty Images / CBS)
Colbert told Trump to ‘keep my friend Jimmy Kimmel’s name out of your weird little wet mouth’ (Getty Images / CBS)

The twice-impeached former president also said Kimmel “suffered from TDS, commonly known as Trump Derangement Syndrome”.

However, in criticising Kimmel, Trump managed to confuse the late-night host with Oscars legend Al Pacino, who announced the Best Picture at the Academy Awards in March.

Trump said: “He showed he suffered from TDS, commonly known as TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME, to the entire World by reading on air my TRUTH about how bad a job he was doing that night, right before he stumbled through announcing the biggest award of all, ‘Picture of the Year’.”

He continued: “It was a CLASSIC CHOKE, one of the biggest ever in show business, and to top it off, he forgot to say the famous and mandatory line, ‘AND THE WINNER IS’. Instead he stammered around as he opened the envelope. Supposedly his wife, and even management, begged him not to do it, “DON’T READ HIS TRUTH, JIMMY, PLEASE DON’T DO THIS,” they said. He was made to look like a FOOL, which he is, and at the same time go down in Television History as the WORST HOST EVER OF THE ONCE VAUNTED ACADEMY AWARDS!”

Pacino, 83, announced that Oppenheimer had won Best Picture in a surprisingly abrupt manner, but Kimmel had no involvement in that part of the ceremony.

The actor later explained that his odd delivery was partly due to a request by the show’s producers to skip reading out all the nominees again.

Earlier in the day on Wednesday, Kimmel hit back at Trump and said:  “In fairness to our former President, many stable geniuses confuse me with Al Pacino.”