Jimmy Kimmel was your standard Hollywood comedian who had no problem objectifying women for a laugh, long before he was the self-professed moral conscience of America, and some are taking notice.
The country is currently focused on the treatment of women in the entertainment industry on the heels of Harvey Weinstein’s decades-old history of sexual harassment coming to light. Because of this, old footage of Kimmel has resurfaced from before his transformation into the liberal darling of America.
Kimmel was once the co-host of “The Man Show,” which regularly featured bikini-clad women simply jumping on trampolines. This week, a bit from the show circulated in which Kimmel approached women on the street and asked them to guess what was in his pants.
“I’ve stuffed something in my pants, and you’re allowed to feel around on the outside of the pants. You’ll have 10 seconds to then guess what is in my pants,” Kimmel said to a woman he apparently met on the street. “You should use two hands.”
Later in the bit he asked one woman to “put her mouth on it” and made sure another participant was at least 18 years old because, “Uncle Jimmy doesn’t need to do time.”
The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis tweeted in response to the footage, “Just last week CNN declared Kimmel to be ‘America's conscience.’ Oops.”
Even Kimmel’s boss, Disney CEO Bob Iger has taken notice of the fact that the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” host is essentially a comedian-turned-activist who could polarize viewers.
'That show is to entertain… I think he should be careful.'
“That show is to entertain… I think he should be careful,” Iger recently told The New York Times.
Kimmel emerged as an outspoken opponent of the Republican Congress’ attempt to undo the Affordable Care Act and was even thanked by many liberals when the bill was eventually killed. He recently delivered a monologue regarding the mass shooting in Las Vegas and teared up when he discussed what occurred in his hometown. However, he has been largely silent when it comes to Weinstein – perhaps because he has a ton of clips floating around the Internet that appear crude and sexist.
Other popular segments on “The Man Show” include a mock commercial for “Bosom Springs,” a spoof beverage company billed as the water for “wet T-shirts,” and a visit to Snoop Dogg’s house in which Kimmel pointed out that a statue of a female was “just the right height” while he thrusted his groin toward it. The show even featured a “Juggy Talent Show” in which women dressed in bathing suits demonstrated their unique “talents,” such as fitting an entire banana in their mouth.
“The Man Show” featured so many things that most Americans would find offensive in the modern cultural landscape that it’s impossible to name them all. A quick YouTube search reveals Kimmel asking to see people on the street’s underwear, stuffing his pants to make himself appear well endowed and even asking porn stars for household hints on things such as how to get wine out of a wet T-shirt.
“Make sure you get it really wet,” an adult film star said while pouring liquid on herself.
“The Man Show” was created by Kimmel and fellow comedian Adam Carolla and they starred on the Comedy Central program from 1999 until 2003. When Kimmel wasn’t making sexist jokes during that time, he was often in blackface make-up impersonating African-American NBA legend Karl Malone. Kimmel left and soon after landed at ABC, where he cleaned up his act and started hosting “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
ABC’s late-night star was a fairly run-of-the-mill, non-political talk show host for the first 10-plus years of the show's run, famous for pulling practical jokes on celebrities and having Hollywood elite read mean tweets about themselves. One of the show’s more notable segments involved Kimmel joking that he was “f***ing Ben Affleck,” who recently had to apologize for his own groping scandal.
It all changed in early 2017 when Kimmel detailed the open-heart surgery his newborn son, William, had to undergo. He explained that many children wouldn’t have the opportunity to survive without the Affordable Care Act. Mediaite columnist Joseph A. Wulfsohn asked why the ABC host hasn’t delivered an “emotional monologue on sexual harassment in Hollywood.”
“He cries that everyone should have health care and that guns are the problem without providing any real solutions, yet he’s silent on the out-of-control abuse women have faced in showbiz for years,” Wulfsohn wrote. “He’s a coward.”