Late-Night TV hosts have welcomed Kanye West with open arms in recent years, keeping up with his antics during show segments and inviting him to plop down on their couches for interviews. But as the rapper known now as Ye continues to venture further and further past the point of no return, the comedians are getting more material out of venerating him than they ever did speaking directly to him – a fair trade-off for not continuing to platform someone who shamelessly praised Hitler in a recent interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Baffled by West’s comment insisting that “human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler,” Jimmy Kimmel tore into the rapper during his opening monologue on Thursday night. “I think he’s wearing the wrong color hood,” the host told the audience.
“I haven’t seen anything like this,” he added. “We have a Black white supremacist running around… Let’s imagine this was another pop star. Imagine if it was Ariana Grande saying this stuff. We’d load her into a cannon and fire her into the ocean, right? But Kanye seems to get crazier every day, and he still has fans. And you know an interview’s gone off the rails when you’re watching it thinking, ‘Gee, I hope Alex Jones can talk some sense into this guy.’”
Kimmel debunked the portion of West’s interview during which he praised Hitler for inventing highways and microphones, neither of which are things that he actually did. “Kanye seems to be the first person claiming Hitler invented the microphone,” he said. “I think he might be referencing the old myth that Nazis invented the microwave oven… but that’s not a microphone.”
West appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2018 to defend his support of Donald Trump with language not too dissimilar to what he’s used in his recent antisemitic rants. “Every time I said I liked Trump [I was told] that I couldn’t say it out loud or my career would be over,” he told Kimmel at the time. “I’d get kicked out of the Black community because Blacks, we are supposed to have a monolithic thought.”
During the conversation, Kimmel recalled West’s famous comment claiming “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people,” asking him: “What makes you think that Donald Trump does – or any people at all?” The rapper took to social media following the episode to clarify that he “wasn’t stumped” by the question but that he thought it was important, and the show had pushed to a commercial break by the time he had prepared his answer. “Not every question warrants an immediate answer,” Kimmel wrote on Twitter in response. “Some answers need to be considered and a talk show with time constraints is a difficult place to do that.”
West’s recent tirades – whether with Alex Jones or Fox News host Tucker Carlson, on the podcast Drink Champs, or in an interview with Chris Cuomo – have shown that even without time constraints, the rapper’s responses don’t seem to be rooted in any meaningful logic.
West hasn’t returned to the late-night slate of shows led by Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon, or James Corden in years, but Stephen Colbert is the only late-night host to have explicitly banned West from appearing on his show. “I have no excuses for why I didn’t do this before, except that he has never been on the show, had no plans to be on the show, we have never asked him to be on the show,” he shared in October. “And I’m not sure he’s aware that I have a show.”