When Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore challenged late-night host Jimmy Kimmel to "come down here to Alabama and do it man to man," it immediately became clear that Moore hasn't been paying attention to Kimmel's work lately. Anyone who has been would have known, of course, that Moore's challenge meant that he was immediately about to get owned. The comedian then delivered. Jimmy Kimmel accepted Roy Moore's challenge — on one condition. If it's a fight, the proceeds have to go to charity. And Kimmel's charity of choice will be, he announced, "the women who came forward to say you molested them." Moore has firmly denied ever pursuing sexual relationships with underage girls.
Let's move backward a few steps to see how this all happened. In Moore's mind, Kimmel started the fight when Live! correspondent Tony Barbieri, playing his character "Jake Byrd," appeared at a Moore rally that took place at the Magnolia Springs Baptist Church in Theodore, Alabama. The Byrd character made frequent appearances at Trump rallies during the campaign, always pretending to be a Trump supporter, and Barbieri used the same trick this time to heckle Moore. Moore, however, objected to the stunt, and later gave an interview to Breitbart that included a challenge to Kimmel.
"If you want to mock our Christian values," Moore wrote to Kimmel on Twitter, "come down here to Alabama and do it man to man."
Kimmel, who doesn't shy away from a war of words, responded on Twitter with his own barb.
“Sounds great Roy — let me know when you get some Christian values and I’ll be there!” Kimmel wrote.
This elicited another shot from Moore, who wrote, "Despite D.C. and Hollywood Elites' bigotry towards southerners, Jimmy, we'll save you a seat on the front pew."
Kimmel, of course, had another response at the ready. "OK, Roy, but I'm leaving my daughters at home!" he wrote on Twitter, referring to the allegations against Moore (which Moore has denied) that he pursued teenage girls when he was in his 30s. "P.S. - wear that cute little leather vest."
It might have stopped there, but Moore's campaign adviser Drew Messer took some additional shots against Kimmel in his Breitbart interview, saying, “Jimmy Kimmel and the ‘Hollywood elite’ cross the line when they invade our Churches under a disguise and attempt to make a mockery of our worship services.” The "worship service" he was referring to was actually a Moore campaign rally taking place in a church. But when it comes to the Christian values that Moore claims, Kimmel has a fairly apt response — which he made on his show, in connection with his response to Moore's challenge.
“What I’m gonna do is — and I think you’re actually going to like this, Roy — I’m going to come down to Gadsden, Alabama, with a team of high school cheerleaders. We’ll meet you at the mall. Don’t worry, I can get ya in,” Kimmel said, referring to the reports that Moore had allegedly been banned from the mall in Gadsden because of his behavior toward young women.
When the girls and I show up, if you can control yourself and behave — if you can somehow manage to keep little Roy in your little cowboy pants when those nubile young cheerleaders come bounding in— you and I will sit down at the food court, we’ll have a little Panda Express, and we’ll talk a little bit about "Christian values." Because, and I don’t know if it doesn’t fit your stereotype, but I happen to be a Christian, too. I made my first Holy Communion, I was confirmed, I pray, I support my church, one of my closest friends is a priest, I baptize my children, Christian is actually my middle name. I know that’s shocking, but it’s true.
That wasn't all Kimmel had to say, though. He discussed "Christian values" on his terms, saying that he had Moore could hash out their differences over whether Moore had acted the Christian way by insisting that the women who spoke out against him were liars rather than confessing and acting for forgiveness. In case Moore wasn't referring to having a man-to-man discussion, though, Kimmel had his parting shot:
Or maybe, when you say, "Come down to Alabama and we’ll do it man to man," maybe that means you’re challenging me to a fight, which is kind of what it sounds like. And if you are, I accept, by the way. I accept that invitation. There is no one I would love to fight more than you. I will put my Christian values aside just for you, and for that fight. So, if you are challenging me to a fight, here’s what we’ll do: Let’s find a place to do it. I’ll wear a Girl Scout uniform so you can have something to get excited about, and the winner, whoever wins the fight, will give all the money we charge for the tickets to charity. My charity will be the women who came forward to say you molested them. All right, tough guy with your little pistol?
He ended this segment of his show with a request for the good people of Alabama to not vote for "this monster." Although we can probably assume that he was mostly preaching to the choir by giving this monologue on his show, perhaps he'll still manage to convince a person or two to vote for Moore's opponent Doug Jones, or at least not cast a vote for Roy Moore.