A comedian with a film crew in tow from the Jimmy Kimmel Live! TV show crashed a Judge Roy Moore speech last night at a local Baptist church, apparently fooling media reporters covering the Alabama U.S. Senate campaign into thinking he was a legitimate Moore supporter. In the meantime, Kimmel and the GOP candidate are having a war of words on Twitter.
Moore was on the way to winning the December 12 special election by a landslide in the red state before allegations emerged that he allegedly engaged in inappropriate behavior with teenage girls when he was in his 30s. Moore has vehemently denied the allegations that go back 40 years or so.
AL.com identifies the heckler and pretend Moore fan at the Mobile-area church as comedian Tony Barbieri, who often performs on Jimmy Kimmel Live! as a character named Jake Byrd.
Wearing a “gimme Moore” T-shirt, Barbieri interrupted Moore several times during the judge’s speech, shouting that Moore was “a man’s man,” that he was the judge’s “number one fan,” and asking rhetorically “does that look like the face of a child molester?” Cops kicked out the Kimmel heckler, and Moore stayed calm and collected through the whole performance.
As a faux Moore fan, Barbieri also apparently barged into media interviews with other Moore supporters in the church parking lot before the judge began his presentation.
“Roy Moore may have been thrown out of Gadley [Gadsden] Mall but he’s gonna go to the National Mall,” he quipped during one intrusion.
Barbieri refused to give an interview to AL.com, however, and drove off in an SUV that was also transporting the Kimmel crew.
“The crew would not reveal their affiliation and on at least two occasions a member of Kimmel’s team was seen talking to Barbieri between interviews. One member of the film crew told AL.com that they were just trying to ‘get him out of the shot.'”
As his fans are aware, the previously apolitical Jimmy Kimmel has become increasingly political and anti-GOP in the past year, particularly, but not limited to vocally opposing the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare and taking up other liberal causes.
Jimmy Kimmel and Roy Moore Are in a Twitter Feud Over the Embattled Senate Candidate's 'Christian Values' https://t.co/87ZgE2i2cW
— People (@people) November 30, 2017
The ABC talk show host and Roy Moore also sparred on Twitter today. At one point in the back and forth, Moore encouraged Kimmel to come to Alabama and mock his Christian values “man to man.”
“Sounds great Roy — let me know when you get some Christian values and I’ll be there!” Kimmel replied. This generated much digital applause from the social justice cohort.
This guys behavior at the end of the rally was odd. He stopped being crazy, refused an interview with me and then jumped into an SUV with the same crew that filmed this woman. They pretended they didn't know each other. He said he was catching a ride. #RoyMoore pic.twitter.com/5JQTqMdUsp
— Christopher Harress (@Charress) November 30, 2017
Some social media users have claimed that as co-host of The Man Show earlier in his career, Kimmel participated in lots of edgy sketches that bordered on exploitation and/or abuse of women, thus calling into question his Moore criticism. Several others have suggested that Hollywood’s mockery of Judge Roy Moore will actually help him get elected in two weeks.
Jimmy Kimmel, who CNN called America’s conscience, sent a fake Roy Moore supporter to rally. The media reported as if he was an actual supporter. This is fake news tactic they use on us. https://t.co/mwqSjjpMvs
— Mike Cernovich ???????? (@Cernovich) November 30, 2017
Earlier that evening, one leftist protester also heckled Moore while he was delivering his remarks. Cops escorted him out of the building, Breitbart News reported.
Turns out tonight's Roy Moore superfan is a comedian named Tony Barbieri, part of Jimmy Kimmel's gang. pic.twitter.com/ykeGKVDdkS
— Ben H. Raines (@BenHRaines) November 30, 2017
During the same speech, Moore blamed socialists and gays for opposing his candidacy because they want to “change our culture,” Fox News detailed.
A controversial former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, who was removed from the bench in a dispute over a Ten Commandments monument, and an unsuccessful candidate for governor, Roy Moore, 70, is a West Point graduate who served as a military police commander in Vietnam.
Despite the lurid allegations and the national headlines they have generated, recent polling data suggests that Roy Moore is back in the lead over Democrat Doug Jones, but it remains to be seen what will actually happen on Election Day. The seat became vacant when former Senator Jeff Sessions took over as U.S. Attorney General. Moore defeated appointed Senator Luther Strange (who was endorsed by President Trump) in the primary. Strange will continue to serve until Moore or Jones is sworn in after the election.
Jake Byrd heckles Roy Moore: Jimmy Kimmel comedian crashes Alabama church rally https://t.co/P1HiEuPL1L
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) November 30, 2017
Watch the Jimmy Kimmel Live! heckler interrupt Judge Roy Moore’s speech last night in Theodore, Alabama.