I have written twice before about ABC late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel’s penchant for urging his viewers to inflict emotional distress on their trusting children, because Jimmy and other mean-spirited jerks get a big kick out of watching kids scream and cry following cruelty from their parents. As I wrote the last time Kimmel issued one of his “challenges,” which was to spoil Christmas for your kid by giving them horrible gifts (like a half-eaten sandwich):
“Children are not props for Jimmy Kimmel’s sadistic amusement, and parents who are willing to use their children this way… are, to be blunt, rotten, despicable, and untrustworthy parents. Something important—Compassion? Kindness? Empathy? Loyalty? Responsibility? Love? — is absent in their parental make-up, and that void is being cynically exploited by Kimmel, who has crossed the threshold from arrested adolescent to full-fledged villain. Since Kimmel has twice been rewarded with positive publicity for egging on parents to harm their kids, what can we expect next from Jimmy?…There’s almost no limit to the great YouTube videos one can create when you’re willing to lie to your kids to upset them.”
Well, now we know. Jimmy asked parents to pre-chew their kids food and serve it to them, to see their horrified reactions. Last night, he showed the hysterically funny “winners.” One disgusted and enraged teenage girl, finally told by her folks that the prank was Jimmy Kimmel’s idea, said to the camera, resoundingly, “You suck, Jimmy!”
Indeed he does.
I even started a Facebook page to try to gather some proof of mass indignation against this despicable form of “entertainment”; it was a resounding failure. I think the page has 11 “likes.” A Facebook page honoring Ed Gein would get ten times that. That’s fine–if everyone thinks it’s ethical and responsible to use kids for cruel practical jokes and then embarrass them further by posting documentation on YouTube, that’s useful information. Now I know that the American obsession with momentary celebrity and social media has passed responsible parenthood and kindness to children as a priority. As an ethicist, I need to know that.
I guess there’s more work to be done than I thought.
25 thoughts on “Jimmy Kimmel Is Still An Evil, Child-Abusing Jerk, and Apparently I’m The Only One Who Notices”
Perhaps you have overestimated the number of people who watch his show. I don’t know anyone who has watched a single episode, then again, I didn’t ask the freshmen…
You have uncovered a part of the Thought Structure that is difficult to explain. But it is very cut and dry, really – it is done in the Spirit of Meanness. Humor at other’s expense, I think, depends upon the delivery. Kimmel himself has made his own persona the butt of his own delivery – case in point the whole Matt Damon deal. Pretty funny – sophomoric and crude – but nonetheless a part of his “Brand” of humor. Which is what all this is, a “Style” of being funny.
It is a matter of taste – and there are paradoxes in all humor. Case in point, the whole Stephen Colbert “genre” – which is lost on many of those in the conservative movement. Irony can be lost on anyone – case in point the daily show’s interviewing of many of their field reports – liberal or conservative, many of these people have no idea they are being made fun of. That being said, there is a point to the irony.
The whole Jimmy Kimmel thing? I think what little point there is is that he is peeking behind the curtain of Modern American Child Rearing and Parenting – and how absurd it has become, in certain sectors. The Alicia Silverstone debactle is a crazy example – it’s an intimate look at the behavior between Mother and Child – but why broadcast that to the whole world? I don’t want to know about it.
You sound like you’d be a very fun and enjoyable person to be around.
Oh, you’re so right, Danny—not getting a kick out of torturing kids is the sure sign of a party-pooper.
PS. I’m an absolute delight…effervescent, witty yet sensitive, urbane yet earthy….a combination of Noel Coward, Edward R. Murrow, Dick Van Dyke, John Foster Dulles, Ann Miller and Bullwinkle. Ask anyone.
That’s quite a line-up, Jack! I’d point out that Kimmel is only following in the now long-standing TV tradition of dysfunctionality with and of children that has become a “humor” staple since “Married… With Children” hit the airwaves.
Yes, but “Married…With Children” was fiction. What is funny in fiction, is often dangerous, cruel, or illegal in real life. If I tell people to put methylene blue in a blueberry pie and then start a conversation about porphyria the evening it is served, it might be funny in a sitcom but the real-life consequences aren’t funny. They might also lead to felony charges. Loosening the lug nuts on a car so the wheels fall off as its pulled out of a driveway is funny as a prank in a movie, but the real-life damages and the accidents it could cause are no laughing matter.
You might also add to that the occurrances of teenage kids lying down on a highway, having seen it done on a movie! You can grant children some leniency for copycatting dangerous stunts or concepts, as they lack adult discernment. But you CAN blame those adults who present these things to them. You can also blame the pseudo-adults (like Kimmel) who flaunt juvenility as a way of life- regardless of the harm it can cause. The difference between fiction and humor on one side and reality on the other has become increasingly blurred in the context of modern entertainment.
You can grant children some leniency for copycatting dangerous stunts or concepts, as they lack adult discernment. But you CAN blame those adults who present these things to them.
I don’t think we should blame fiction for inspiring idiots.
You can also blame the pseudo-adults (like Kimmel) who flaunt juvenility as a way of life- regardless of the harm it can cause. The difference between fiction and humor on one side and reality on the other has become increasingly blurred in the context of modern entertainment.
Now, these statements? I can get behind these.
I agree that idiots will be idiots, regardless. They just shouldn’t be exhalted as more than what they are. it’s important that we provide children with the best examples possible. When evil or just plain foolishness is either portrayed or displayed, it must be in a context that makes the destinction plain.
I agree that’s best. I wouldn’t say *must*, but I would say *should*. Show evil people getting away with bad things if you want, but show that as a blight, not as something to be aspired to.
AH! Dick Van Dyke and Bullwinkle, I believe I channel very well also. Along with the obvious-to-almost-everyone Eeyore. In my case, I tend to be the party-pooper BECAUSE of my Kimmelosis. Kids (and dogs) still love me, and vice-versa (but I’ve gotten less patient with kids).
That comment did not indent to Jack’s “PS I’m an absolute delight,” like I intended it to.
AMEN, Jack! I couldn’t agree more, and to be honest, was beginning to wonder if I was the only one who felt revulsion in seeing children teased and abused for comedic fodder. So many people revel in bullying morons like Kimmel, disgusting shows like AFV (yes, the sight of children crying, terrified, or in pain is *the* very definition of comedy), and even jokes about child whippings and beatings. I think it speaks to how truly sadistic and sick our society is when it comes to preying on the weak and the helpless…and children know that particular truth best of all.
I agree so much. It makes me pretty pissed that he can be such a huge prick and people enjoy it because they have no sense of empathy for other people, and these are little children that he plays most of the pranks on! Little children! As in “Impressionable” “Innocent” “Not able to understand why their own parents are lying to them just for 3 seconds of fame” children. Now I wouldn’t go so far as to say he “Tortures” anyone, but he’s still pretty fucked up.
Jimmy Kimmel has a disordered personality and he assumes the general public thinks the way he does. I found his bit with the kids horrifying and the kids were really upset. And then he says Jay Leno has no feelings. Wow. So glad you’ve put this up and let’s keep it going!
Why not pull the pranks on adults instead of on kids? Like get someone to film your mate’s reaction as as you give them a really cheap, dimestore the ring. Probably because it would violate the adult’s rights and the person could sue. But the adult sending in the video is the one who has the rights and they are not going to sue. They would have to agree before hand if the mate could show the video. Are kids allowed to choose if their video is shown to the world. Most of the kids probably don’t even know that their emotional distress was sent to Kimmel. What about the kids who are school age who are the brunt of these pranks? Won’t they get teased by the other kids who happened to see the show? There is enough cruel teasing out there. Why pick on the kids? Because the kids are sweet and gullible and are easily duped. This sort of humour can quickly turn vicious (like a parent pretending to be dead to fool a child).
I can’t watch that phony piece of garbage for more than 10 seconds without getting sick to my stomach. Not sure who he sucked off to get his job (probably many), but between his bad hair dye (Owen Glennon of Marist in Chicago comes to mind) and inability to hold a relationship, why any interest in him?
Kimmel’s humor isn’t humor, it’s revolting. Its a shame “tastes” have changed so much that this is supposedly considered entertainment.
Let’s say that his trademark humor is revolting. He’s a talented and quick-witted comic otherwise.
Jimmy Kimmel, please refrain from your child abuse skits.
Beverly Joyce Stephens
It’s not hard to believe that in a society that love’s reality TV like Hoarders, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Real Housewives and Hell’s Kitchen and that finds entertainment in shaming and abusing people on Twitter that Kimmel’s douchebag routine would be popular.
We live in a society where audiences go to horror movies like Human Centipede and Saw – which are nothing more than torture porn – and laugh and think it’s great fun.
It’s not a stretch to think these people would find entertainment in being assholes to their kids.
Kimmel is just a symptom of an epidemic of callous, selfish and unempathetic people.
OBVIOUSLY, the guy has ORDERS to try and brain wash our minds as to what they WANT us to laugh at as funny. Remember, he works for a controlled Institution that has been lying to us for a long time ( ABC,CBS,NBC,CNN,etc. ) He is about his reputation ( getting laughs ) and ambition .. He does not GET IT. He makes fun of a Patriot with a a news show that unlike his station.. TELLS THE TRUTH.
Jimmy Kimmel… Not to smart a guy in my mind… Like I said, he does not get it because he cannot SEE beyond his own ambition… Not smart enough to realize what he is doing… He is NOT about to go against his handlers and say no …. this is ( for those that don’t understand the Gov’t/ Institution/ Corporate controlled agenda ) what they do .. he is nothing more than a puppet trying to change in our minds WHAT SHOULD NOT BE FUNNY to hey…disregard ethics… morals… decency … you got to laugh at this…
WAKE UP JIMMY…
Jimmy Kimmel is a very mean person and he seems insane!!! He is yet another media network liberal, communistic, socialistic, progressive, piece of the “big fraternity.” Those that think differently than him are not human anymore in his view and he makes that clear. AND yes, I remember seeing a video a while back with children and was appalled.
I also wonder which medical insurance he has and why he speaks so highly of managed healthcare. Has he participated in that crappy insurance? My guess, not.