When Kimmel’s Comedy Really Isn’t Pretty
June 27, 2007 9:35 AM
What do Paris Hilton and Jimmy Kimmel’s appendix have in common?
They both inspired some very-funny-turned-very-unappetizing comedy bits Tuesday night, on the host’s first night back on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” after an emergency appendectomy.
Mr. Kimmel’s style is to take comedy all the way to stomach-churning and beyond whenever possible, thus driving off those who just tuned in for funny.
OMGreppi was turned off “Kimmel” for months after his shock-comedy girlfriend Sarah Silverman sat on the back of his “Kimmel” couch and sang to him a song she’d written about the irritable bowel syndrome and /////////////diahrrea////////// she said they have in common.
And so Tuesday we had the video time line of Ms. Hilton’s un-perp walk to freedom after 23 days in jail—how changed can she be if she does her little red-carpet finger waggle to the cameras and the crowds?—with close-ups of tooth-challenged Jake Byrd proving that his interruption of a press conference earlier in the Hilton saga was, alas, no fluke. And, really, what’s funny about asking a very ordinary woman who had the bad luck to have, um, business to conduct at the jail at the moment Ms. Hilton was released, “Who are you wearing?”
We had Mr. Kimmel passing off a shrimp as his appendix … and then dunking it in cocktail sauce and eating it.
But OMGreppi suppressed her gag reflex and was rewarded with a delightful show that centered on Don Rickles, the insult comedian making the promotional rounds with his best-selling “Rickles’ Book.”
Mr. Rickles is a welcome and revered guest on “Late Show With David Letterman” and “The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson” and, of course, “Live With Regis and Kelly,” but Mr. Kimmel did it up right. He donned a tux—the stylist should be fired for choosing a most unflattering collar that gave the host’s mid-section a penguin-like shape—for the occasion.
He planted longtime Rickles pal Bob Newhart in the audience and then went to hilarious extremes to overlook him during an audience Q&A. Watching Mr. Rickles choke up while talking about Mr. Newhart was the sort of memorable, you-can’t-script-this moment that keep OMGreppi addicted to late-night shows even though she can no longer guarantee she’s awake for the broadcast and that keep OMGreppi’s DVR near capacity at all times.
For a classy close, Mr. Kimmel, who is, after all, a child of Vegas, closed with a performance by Keely Smith, an icon from the heyday of the man who became the sultan of insult comics by making fun of Frank Sinatra and the rest of the best.
“I enjoy being on your show. You don’t help me. It’s like being with nobody, you know what I’m saying? When Johnny Carson was alive, bang, boom, bang. Letterman, bang, boom, bang. Jay Leno, boom,” Mr. Rickles riffed. “That’s a joke. Jay knows I like him.”
And Mr. Rickles knows Mr. Leno can take it.
Mr. Byrd, on the other hand, should find the T-shirted woman he made fun of in the Hilton piece and apologize.