Smith, who covers the NBA and hosts the ESPN show First Take, made the claims in an appearance Thursday on Fox News, telling host Sean Hannity that he ought to have his own late-night show, perhaps replacing Kimmel, the New Jersey Local News reported.
“I am interested in doing late night,” Smith acknowledged. “I would love to be the heir apparent to Jimmy Kimmel. I believe I could do it.”
According to Smith, his lack of ideological commitment would make him more interesting than Kimmel.
“I would throw everybody for a loop—my politics would throw people off because I’d be fair to everybody and I’d listen to everybody” he said.
“It wouldn’t be one-sided—I’m not a one-sided kind of guy,” he added. “I’m one-sided on issues. I’m not one-sided on ideology.”
Hannity responded by noting that all three of the major cable networks had been infiltrated by radical left-wing activists who put their politics front and center while carrying water for the current Biden administration.
“I don’t care if you’re watching Colbert or you’re watching Fallon, or you’re watching Kimmel—it’s like a left-wing comedy show, and they’re alienating and pushing away half the country,” Hannity said, noting that their ignoring of Biden’s constant gaffes revealed their lack of commitment to comedy.
In response, Smith agreed that such an approach most certainly kills cable TV ratings.
“Assuming you’re correct in what you’re saying, it should be a problem,” Smith continued. “Because reality of the situation is there’s 350 [million] plus Americans in this country, and at least 170 to 180 million… that like Sean Hannity, OK? We understand that, and whether you like it or not, that’s their reality.”
For Smith, a good comedy show would cut across partisan divides, leaving no party or individual unspared.
“In order to get everybody, you gotta think about everybody,” he said. “You gotta think about what they want, you gotta think about what they need, you gotta think about what they like, what they dislike.”
The dramatic pivot of late-night comedians toward politics and away from humor has had one positive side effect for Fox News, which has enjoyed seeing its own host, Greg Gutfeld, surge in the late-night ratings.
That has spurred the beleaguered CNN to announce that it would like to develop its own late-night programming with a name-brand personality like Jon Stewart or Bill Maher, both of whom have experience in the late-night hosting market.
It is unlikely, however, that another leftist comedian would draw Gutfeld’s viewers away, with the more likely outcome being more competition for the same demographic shares as the Big Three networks.
Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.