On Wednesday night, a comedian named Tony Barbieri, who periodically appears as a fictional "Jake Byrd" character on Jimmy Kimmel Live, went to Alabama to troll Roy Moore. At a speech given by the senatorial candidate, Byrd assumed the persona of a zealous Moore supporter, interrupting the event several times. The next day, as news of the spoof spread, Moore fired back at Kimmel on Twitter, challenging the host to come to Alabama himself.
Tagging Kimmel in a tweet Thursday afternoon, Moore said, "If you want to mock our Christian values, come down here to Alabama and do it man to man." The tweet also featured an article about the incident, written by the far-right website Breitbart. Kimmel responded with an hour, mocking Moore. "Sounds great Roy - let me know when you get some Christian values and I’ll be there!"
Moore continued to engage the late show host. "Despite D.C. and Hollywood Elites' bigotry towards southerners, Jimmy, we'll save you a seat on the front pew."
In response, Kimmel took a stab at recent allegations that Moore pursued a series of relationship with teenage girls, which Moore has consistently denied. "OK Roy, but I'm leaving my daughters at home!" Kimmel said. "P.S. - wear that cute little leather vest."
At Wednesday's talk, where the spoof took place, Moore appeared at the Magnolia Springs Baptist Church in Theodore, Alabama. According to Alabama Local News, Barbieri, dressed as Byrd, first made fun of Moore supporters outside the church. With the Kimmel film crew in tow, Barbieri interrupted interviews between journalists and Moore supporters. He wore a shirt that said "Give Me Moore," and carried a pro-Moore sign.
Later, while Moore's speech was underway, a protester interrupted him. In a video of the scene, a deep voice is heard shouting, "The whole town says you did it! The entire town! All the girls are lying?" Within seconds, Barbieri stands up at the front of the church and responds to the protester, saying, "Get out of here, dude. We're here for the judge. He's a man's man." After repeating himself several times and taking a moment to turn to Moore and offer encouragement, he continued, "Does that look like the face of a molester?"
According to the video, he was led away from the front of the room by law enforcement. But several moments later, Barbieri is heard shouting, "They're kicking out your number one fan, Judge. I'm your number one fan, Judge. Number one. Because I believe in the Judge... Does that look like the face of someone who hits on teenage girls?" At this point he was reportedly escorted outside.
For weeks, Moore has been embroiled in allegations, initially published in The Washington Post, that he pursued relationships with women when they were teenagers. Among the accusers is a woman named Leigh Corfman, who says she was 14 years old when Moore allegedly molested her at his home. According to the Post report, Moore would have been in his early 30s at the time. Moore has vehemently denied these accusations, describing them as "completely false and a desperate political attack."
Moore is currently running in a special election to fill Attorney General Jeff Session's vacant Senate seat in Alabama. Politicians on both sides of the aisle have said that Moore should step aside from his candidacy, but the former judge has declined to do so.
While President Trump has not explicitly endorsed Moore, he remained quiet about the accusations for weeks. On Nov. 21, he underscored that Moore denies the allegations and railed against Moore's opponent, Democrat Doug Jones.
According to several polls, Moore seems to be leading in the race, despite the allegations. The election will take place on Dec. 12.