Before Jimmy Kimmel rolled his latest clip of “Lie Witness News,” he made one thing clear: “The folks youre about to see are not early voters, voters by mail; these are people who are falsely claiming that they went to their polling place that morning.”
Yes, the prank-obsessed late-night host decided last week to see how many people would try to convince his correspondents that theyd already stood in line to vote—despite the fact that the election had not happened yet. And, as usual, the show was able to find plenty of takers—people who went as far as to explain their positions on propositions like making “medicinal aspirin” illegal, and to describe the cookies being handed out at their polling places. (If only!)
This is not the first time Kimmel has mixed his signature man-on-the-street segment with politics—and sometimes, the combination can be quite effective. Last fall, for instance, he was able to find a startling number of people who said that they wanted to impeach Hillary Clinton—who, of course, is not the president of the United States. In January 2017, he found a startling number of people who believed that the Affordable Care Act and Obamacare were different programs.
When deployed properly, the prank can be illuminating in ways both amusing and terrifying—but this clip might not hit that mark for everyone. Sure, the comedian and his team have proven once more that the human capacity for lying to save face knows no bounds—but then again, is this joke worth the potential consequence of actually confusing prospective voters? Hopefully, after the cameras stopped rolling, someone who works for Kimmel was kind enough to clue in these poor people on the ruse—and, hopefully, encourage them to head to the polls for real.
Get Vanity Fairs HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Laura BradleyLaura Bradley is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com.