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Jimmy Kimmel’s wife Molly McNearney urged him not to name-drop Trump at Oscars: ‘Not proud’

Jimmy Kimmel and Donald Trump.
Jimmy Kimmel's wife nearly stopped him from joking about Trump at the 2024 Oscars.

Her request was trumped.

During the 2024 Oscars Sunday, host Jimmy Kimmel, 56, made a joke about Donald Trump. 

The former president wrote on the social media platform Truth Social, “Has there EVER been a WORSE HOST than Jimmy Kimmel at The Oscars. His opening was that of a less than average person trying too hard to be something which he is not, and never can be. Get rid of Kimmel and perhaps replace him with another washed up, but cheap, ABC ‘talent,’ George Slopanopoulos.”

The “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” star read Trump’s post onstage at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles — and then shot back, “I’m surprised you’re still [up]. Isn’t it past your jail time?”

Jimmy Kimmel and Molly McNearney. Getty Images for Apple TV+
Jimmy Kimmel and Molly McNearney. Getty Images for Apple TV+
“Isn’t it past your jail time?” Jimmy Kimmel addressed Trump at the Oscars. Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
“Isn’t it past your jail time?” Jimmy Kimmel addressed Trump at the Oscars. Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Kimmel’s wife, Molly McNearney, 46, who was a co-executive producer on the telecast, told Variety, “I’m really not proud of this, but I tried to talk Jimmy out of reading that.

“I feel like my instincts are usually right, but I was totally off on that,” she said. “I said, ‘Please don’t read this.’ “

When Kimmel asked why, she told her comedian husband, “I don’t want to give Trump airtime in the Oscars. This is the one time we don’t have to talk about him. We talk about him every night … this night is not about him and it’s not about politics.'”

McNearney also considered “the risk” of introducing Trump’s name into the broadcast, as she felt “the show was going well” and she didn’t want to “end it on a sour note.”

Earlier in his monologue, Kimmel celebrated the working-class members of Hollywood such as crew members and Teamsters, and mocked celebs such as Bradley Cooper, Robert Downey Jr. and Hailey Bieber.

Kimmel hosted the Oscars. REUTERS
Kimmel hosted the Oscars. REUTERS
Kimmel’s producer wife nearly stopped his Trump joke. Getty Images
Kimmel’s producer wife nearly stopped his Trump joke. Getty Images
Kimmel doing a comedy bit with John Cena at the Oscars. DISNEY via Getty Images
Kimmel doing a comedy bit with John Cena at the Oscars. DISNEY via Getty Images

During his acknowledgement of the Teamsters and the actors strike, which ended in November, Kimmel said that Hollywood isn’t, “Just a bunch of heavily Botoxed, Hailey Bieber smoothie-drinking, diabetes prescription-abusing, gluten-sensitive nepo babies with perpetually shivering Chihuahuas.

“This is a coalition of strong, hardworking, mentally tough American laborers,” he proclaimed. “Women and men who would 100% die if we even had to touch the handle of a shovel.”

According to Kimmel, ABC producers also tried to stop him from doing the Trump joke.

Kimmel made jokes about Trump, Hailey Bieber, and Bradley Cooper at the Oscars. via REUTERS
Kimmel made jokes about Trump, Hailey Bieber, and Bradley Cooper at the Oscars. via REUTERS
McNearney, Kimmel’s wife, said she’s “not proud” of nearly stopping his Trump joke at the Oscars. Getty Images
McNearney, Kimmel’s wife, said she’s “not proud” of nearly stopping his Trump joke at the Oscars. Getty Images

“They’re like, ‘You’ve got a little bit of time’ and I was like, ‘I’m reading the Trump tweet,’ and they’re like, ‘No, no, don’t read that,’ ” he told Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos Monday. “[I was like], ‘Yes, I am.’ “