Jimmy Kimmel takes up Roy Moore on his offer to debate values ‘man to man’

FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2017, file photo, host Jimmy Kimmel appears at the Oscars in Los Angeles. Kimmel accepted U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore's invitation to meet him in Alabama on Nov. 30, 2017, after Kimmel sent a comedian to heckle Moore during a talk he was giving at a church the night before. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/file
Jimmy Kimmel during the Oscars in February.

During his late-night show Thursday, Jimmy Kimmel accepted Senate candidate Roy Moore’s challenge to visit Alabama and discuss Christian values “man to man.”

After Kimmel sent one of his show’s satirical characters to a Moore event at a church Wednesday, the Republican candidate lashed out on Twitter Thursday afternoon saying, “If you want to mock our Christian values, come down here to Alabama and do it man to man.”

Kimmel responded, resulting in a back-and-forth between the two men.


Thursday night, Kimmel said he would be willing to interview or talk with Moore, who in recent weeks has been accused of sexual misconduct during his time in the district attorney’s office decades ago. Moore allegedly was banned from a local mall because of his behavior towards teenage girls.

Get The Weekender in your inbox:
The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

“If you’re open to it, when we sit down, I will share with you what I learned at my church,” Kimmel said. “At my church forcing yourself on underage girls is a no-no. Some even consider it to be a sin -- not that you did that, of course, allegedly.”

The TV host added that he would also be willing to settle the dispute in a physical fight.

“Maybe [that tweet] 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,” Kimmel said. “There is no one I would love to fight more than you.

“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.”


Kimmel also explained what had initially sparked Moore’s outrage.

Jake Byrd, a frequent character on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” attended a church event in Alabama, featuring Moore, but was kicked out for his overly enthusiastic behavior. Byrd, who wore a shirt that read “Gimme Moore,” yelled at some of Moore’s critics who attended the event and continuously interrupted the candidate -- with words of encouragement.

As he was escorted out of the church, Byrd pointed to Moore and yelled, “Does that look like the face of someone who hits on teenage girls?”

Sophia Eppolito can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @SophiaEppolito.