MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has been a favorite target for Jimmy Kimmel for weeks, but the two finally met for their first face-to-face conversation Wednesday when the late night host invited him on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
“A lot of people didn’t want you to come on the show,” Kimmel told Lindell . “Liberals and conservatives, everybody told me don’t have you on the show, and they told you, ‘Don’t go on the show.’ But I think it’s important that we talk to each other.”
Lindell, an ally of former President Donald Trump, has made a name for himself perpetuating false claims about election fraud and rigged voting machines, for which he faces a $1.2 billion lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems.
“I don’t think there’s any validity to any of this stuff that you’re saying. And I’ve studied you, I really have,” Kimmel said. “A lot of these ideas you espouse, I think you could potentially draw a line from those to the riot we had at the Capitol where people were killed and a lot of bad things.”
Here’s what you need to know about the late night host and controversial CEO’s ongoing feud.
More: Newsmax anchor walks off set after failing to stop MyPillow CEO’s false rigged-election rant
Kimmel makes monologue jokes; Lindell fires back
Over the past few months, Lindell has been a frequent subject of Kimmel’s monologues. The late-night host has poked fun at Lindell’s website launch (“a lot of people said the CEO of a pillow company couldn’t successfully launch a major social media site – and those people were 100% correct”); merchandise (“Who would buy this? I mean, besides me, who would buy this?”); and a February Newsmax interview that was cut short (“You know it’s bad when Newsmax is like, ‘Dial it down, buddy'”).
Lindell has fired back at Kimmel during various appearances on his show, Lindell TV, livestreamed on his website.
“Jimmy, your jokes aren’t funny anymore, because, you know what? People have common sense now,” Lindell said in one recent clip. In another TV appearance, he called out late-night hosts who “mock people” and singled out Kimmel, vowing to appear on his show if invited.
“What Mike Lindell doesn’t seem to understand is I’m his biggest fan,” Kimmel said earlier this month in response. “I have no idea what he’s doing, but I love it.”
More: From Fallon to ‘SNL’ to Oliver, how late-night TV is moving on (or not) from Trump
‘I worry about you’: Kimmel makes good on his ‘Live!’ invite
During his April 18 monologue, Kimmel agreed to invite Lindell on his show live – on two conditions: “Number one, he has to actually come into our studio. I need to actually see him in person. I want to smell the knockwurst in his mustache. Number two, I would like to conduct our interview in a bed, surrounded by pillows.”
Half of those conditions were met Wednesday: The two men sat (in chairs) in the “Live!” studio while Lindell discussed his recovery from a crack addiction and his friendship with former President Donald Trump. He also made a slew of unfounded claims, including 2020 election fraud, and when asked, told Kimmel he had not been vaccinated for COVID-19.
“I meant for rabies,” Kimmel joked.
Even while being mocked during his appearance, Lindell seemed to be enjoying himself. At one point, Kimmel introduced Lindell to his “Live!” doppelganger, a not-so-flattering caricature of the real Lindell played by comedian James Adomian, who looks nearly identical.
Later on, Kimmel seemed to express real concern for Lindell: “I worry about you,” he said. “I feel like you are maybe self-destructive, that you have lost everything repeatedly so many times in your life.
“Somehow a simple pillow salesman from Minnesota got to the bottom of the deepest conspiracy in the history of American politics,” Kimmel said during his monologue. “It’s so crazy, it’s almost hard to believe.”