You hear stories about nerds who go back to their ten year high school reunion looking spectacular.
Look at Dwight! He’s outgrown his gangly limbs. And there’s little Gwen, who corrected her overbite with adult braces. And though Tom still wears glasses (damn that astigmatism!), he now looks stylish like Tina Fey or Tim Gunn. And suddenly, everyone wants to talk to the radiant nerds with fulfilling and interesting careers.
I can dream, can’t I?
While this may or may not happen in real life, I’ll confess that I have started to look at and old face in a new light. It’s been ten years, and now I’m really starting to like Jimmy Kimmel.
Perhaps I just felt left out by The Man Show, which first aired in 1999 and exposed me to Jimmy. I’m not trying to be a killjoy, but the humor in that show was cheap and easy. Kind of like Sarah Silverman. Look, props to Adam Carolla and Kimmel; The Man Show was everything they intended it to be: silly, beer-soaked, and self-heralding. It loved breasts, had pit stains, and forgot to take the trash out. The Man Show made no excuses or apologies.
I’m not criticizing the show. I’m just saying that I just didn’t fall in that show’s target demographic of unmotivated, dateless college guys too nice to join a fraternity but too horny and awkward to chat up girls with actual breasts. It was a nice escape for those guys.
Maybe I just felt left out, I don’t know. But it left me thinking that Jimmy Kimmel was just lucky in showbiz. Maybe he knew the right people. He was successful because he made the obvious jokes. The Man Show never swung for the fences and didn’t advance comedy. I didn’t need to tune into Carolla and Kimmel, when I could just walk down the hall of any dorm and find the exact same discussion without advertisements. Although I guess I can be thankful for one thing: it did introduce the world to my boy Andy Milonakis.
That negative first impression of Kimmel lingered for ten years.
Then something happened that proved how wrong I’ve been. Jimmy Kimmel, who has hosted Jimmy Kimmel Live! since 2003, popped on to Jay Leno’s cataclysmic primetime show for a segment called 10 at 10. Apparently, that was a regular segment. I wouldn’t know. I have never enjoyed Leno, and didn’t plan on starting at 10pm.
During the height of the Leno-Conan battle royale, Kimmel stood to gain the most from the conflict. Team Coco felt hurt and betrayed, wanting two things: (1) justice and (2) a good laugh. In the clip below, Kimmel delivers both, at the expense of Leno, this story’s villain.
* Cut to 2:24, 4:38, and 5:20 if you’re short on time. And as you watch, pay attention to Jay’s reactions.
Jay is not a quick wit. He’s never been able to deliver a punch line, let alone a punch. But at least we know he can take one. WOW.
That’s what I call undercutting. That’s what I call mutiny. That’s what I call comedy.
Leno has no control over the interview or his audience. They hoot and holler in appreciation of Kimmel’s siege. But Jay just smiles and giggles while Jimmy runs the show, a throwback to Juggies on a trampoline. Jay is completely lame, and I mean that both literally and figuratively.
Jimmy takes it hard to Jay and had the knots to tell him to his face, on Jay’s home court. I’ll be damned if I’d let someone come in my house and fuck my couch with dirty platform shoes.
And if that put Jimmy on my good side, his recent sketch, The Handsome Men’s Club extended the lead.
If there’s one thing I like, it’s sketch comedy. If there are two things I like, it’s sketch comedy and cookies. If there are three things I like, it’s sketch comedy, cookies, and when people don’t try too hard to deliver great writing. It’s in that spirit that I’ll let the sketch do the talking.
Shout out to Josh, whose ears are even better than Tony Romo’s, for sending this Kimmel’s ‘n bit into my life.