Kimmel Audience Erupts Over Naked John Cena Joke About Trump

Jimmy Kimmel recapped his latest Oscars hosting gig with a dig at former President Donald Trump that had his studio audience cheering.

During Sunday’s ceremony, Kimmel fired back onstage in real-time at Trump’s criticism on his Truth Social platform of his performance by asking: “Isn’t it past your jail time?”

On Monday’s episode of his late-night show, Kimmel suggested the presumptive Republican 2024 nominee’s rant was “because he was upset I didn’t mention him on the show, and no one mentioned him on the show, he wasn’t getting any attention, he couldn’t stand it.”

“We had John Cena onstage naked and somehow Trump still managed to be the biggest dick of the night,” Kimmel added, a line that gained massive applause, a reference to Cena’s apparently naked appearance.

But the joke almost didn’t come to be.

Kimmel revealed earlier Monday how producers of the Oscars show tried to talk him out of responding to Trump.

“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,’” Kimmel told Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos. “[I was like] ‘Yes, I am.’”

One of those producers was actually Kimmel’s wife, Molly McNearney, who is an executive producer for the Academy Awards.

“I will tell you, I’m really not proud of this, but I tried to talk Jimmy out of reading that,” McNearney told Variety on Monday. “I feel like my instincts are usually right, but I was totally off on that.”

She explained, “I said, ‘Please don’t read this.’ And he asked why. I said, ’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. My second thought was just the risk, like the show was going well! I just wanted to make sure it ended well, and I didn’t want it to end on a sour note.”

But Kimmel “had a glimmer in his eye, and he said, ‘I got this.’ He really did. This is where he shines,” McNearney added. “I will tell you, I’m never going to win an argument in my household again.”

Elsewhere in his Monday monologue, Kimmel recalled his favorite moments from Sunday’s ceremony and revealed just how much work went into getting Cena onstage in an almost-naked state.

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