Kimmel devotes monologue to skewering ‘arrogant’ Aaron Rodgers after Epstein list; Rodgers replies

Jimmy Kimmel, left, wears a black suit and Aaron Rodgers, right, wears a white T-shirt
Jimmy Kimmel fired back at NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers during his late-night monologue Monday.
(Evan Agostini / Invision / Associated Press, left; Adam Hunger / Associated Press, right)

In his first late-night monologue of 2024, Jimmy Kimmel went all in on NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers, a week after their public feud began.

Earlier this month, the New York Jets quarterback suggested during an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” that the longtime late-night personality might appear on Jeffrey Epstein’s damning associates list — and that he would celebrate if that was the case. A week and one Epstein list release later, that wasn’t the case.

“Of course my name wasn’t on it, and isn’t on it and won’t ever be on it,” Kimmel said Monday, echoing his initial response to Rodgers’ claim. “I don’t know Jeffrey Epstein, I’ve never met Jeffrey Epstein. I’m not on a list, I was not on a plane or an island or anything ever.”


Aaron Rodgers crossed a line for Jimmy Kimmel when the New York Jets quarterback hinted the late-night host’s name could surface on the Epstein list.

Jan. 2, 2024

Kimmel told his audience that conspiracy theories about the company he keeps (ahem, “Pizzagate”) harm not only himself but also the people closest to him. Rodgers, he said, has only caused more harm on that front.

Monday’s monologue wasn’t the first time Kimmel fired shots at the football star. In March 2023, the late-night personality poked fun at Rodgers’ “wacko idea” that reports about UFOs were meant to distract from the Epstein list. Kimmel also previously chided Rodgers for his controversial comments about the COVID-19 vaccine in 2021.

“Aaron Rodgers has a very high opinion of himself — because he had success on the football field, he believes himself to be an extraordinary being,” Kimmel continued. “He genuinely thinks that because God gave him the ability to throw a ball that he’s smarter than everyone else. The idea that his brain is just average is unfathomable to him.”

Pat McAfee apologized after Aaron Rodgers came on his show and wrongly suggested that Jimmy Kimmel was among those named in court documents as associates of Jeffrey Epstein.

Jan. 3, 2024

Kimmel’s scathing comments didn’t stop there, as he ridiculed Rodgers’ intelligence (“Aaron got two A’s on his report card, they were both in the word ‘Aaron’”) and his side gigs (“They let him host ‘Jeopardy!’ for two weeks, now he knows everything”).

He added: “Aaron Rodgers is too arrogant to know how ignorant he is.”

While Kimmel said he supports athletes voicing their opinions on nonsports matters, he clarified: “Saying someone is a pedophile is not an opinion, nor is it trash talk.” For more than 20 years, the late-night show has had its fair share of snide remarks and biting commentary, but “we don’t make up lies,” Kimmel said, shouting out the writers and fact-checkers who help craft every episode.


The late-night star concluded his bit on Rodgers saying that he would move on from the drama if the Jets player apologized. However, he conceded that might not be likely.

“My guess is he won’t apologize; I hope I’m wrong,” Kimmel said.

Rodgers made his regular weekly appearance on McAfee’s show Tuesday, and Kimmel was correct — the New York Jets quarterback did not apologize. Rodgers instead claimed that he had never suggested that Kimmel was on the Epstein list.

“I totally understand how serious an allegation of pedophilia would be, so for him to be upset about that, I get it,” Rodgers said, adding, “I’m not stupid enough — even though you think I’m an idiot and you’ve made a lot of comments about my intelligence — but I’m not stupid enough to accuse you of that with absolutely zero evidence, concrete evidence. That’s ridiculous.”

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers advocates for the legalization of psychedelic drugs at a Denver convention this week.

June 22, 2023

Rodgers said Kimmel made a comment last year that the 10-time Pro Bowler said he interpreted as the comedian suggesting Rodgers was a conspiracy theorist for believing that a list with names of Epstein’s clients existed. Rodgers then said his remark last week was in reference to that.

“I said that a lot of people — and I’m quoting myself here — a lot of people including Jimmy Kimmel are really hoping that doesn’t come out. End quote,” Rodgers said Tuesday about his comment the previous week. “That’s what I said, the entire quote. I was referring to the fact that if there is a list ... and there are names on it, that would be the second time that a soft-brained, junior college student, wacko, antivax, antisemite, purveyor, spreader of misinformation, conspiracy theorist, MAGA — whatever things that have been said by him and other people in the media — would be right twice.”

Rodgers added: “I’m glad Jimmy is not on the list, I really am. And I don’t think he’s the p-word. ... I wish him the best. Again, I don’t give a s— about what he says about me. But as long as he understands what I actually said and that I’m not accusing him of being on a list, then I’m all for moving forward.”