Donald Trump canceled his scheduled Tuesday night appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, with the Republican presidential candidate providing a “cryptic” excuse as to why he opted out of Kimmel’s “Back to Brooklyn” week. Kimmel first announced during a visit to The Howard Stern Show Tuesday morning that Trump had backed out of his appearance, and later, the late-night host mocked the mogul when alerting his own audience when the episode taped.
“His people called late last night and canceled on us. They were cryptic as to why he canceled — they said he has a major political commitment. But he did want me to relay the message to you that if he had been here, he would have been great,” Kimmel said. “I’m dying to find out what this major political commitment was. Usually, it means he had to go on CNN to call someone an idiot or something. Why did he cancel? We told him there were cameras here, right? Are Tuesday nights the night he volunteers down at the orphanage?”
The crowd loudly booed after Kimmel told them that Trump had cancelled, a mix of disappointment and general resentment toward the candidate. “And now he’s glad he didn’t come, I guess…,” Kimmel quipped. “But don’t worry. Tonight, we’re going to give everyone in the audience a basketball dipped in cologne, so you can fully experience what it would have been like had Donald Trump been here.”
The host also joked that he was relieved that Trump didn’t show, because otherwise the program would have had to build a wall around Jimmy Kimmel Live!‘s Hispanic security guard co-star Guillermo. According to Variety, Trump was scheduled to appear on Kimmel only in the capacity of guest-starring in a sketch, not as an interviewee. Jay Z and Tracy Morgan served as Kimmel’s guests Tuesday night.
A Trump spokesperson said of the cancellation in a statement, “Unfortunately Mr. Trump now has a political obligation that will prevent him from joining as planned, but we have rescheduled to join in-studio in L.A. over the next few weeks.” However, after Kimmel roasted the mogul on Tuesday night’s episode, it’s unclear whether Trump will follow through on that rescheduled appearance.