Jimmy Kimmel is back from paternity leave with a few choice words for his critics.
The Jimmy Kimmel Live! host drew ire from certain conservative circles when he made an emotional announcement last Monday about his newborn son Billy requiring heart surgery. Billy's health complications prompted him to implore politicians to not allow cuts to health care or punish citizens with pre-existing conditions. The speech earned raves from folks like President Barack Obama, but was written off as "elitist" by the political right (whom, you may remember, passed a pretty horrific health care bill of their own in the House last week).
Kimmel addressed the controversy in his monologue for last night's show.
"One week ago tonight I made an emotional speech that was seen by millions, and as a result of my powerful words on that night, Republicans in Congress had second thoughts about Repeal and Replace," he quipped. "They realised that what is right is right and I saved health insurance in America. Thank you."
He then pretended to get a message in his ear piece.
"I didn't save it? They voted against it ANYWAY? I really need to pay more attention to the news."
The good news is that Billy is recovering nicely from his surgery, according to his dad.
"He's eating, he's getting bigger, he's sleeping... he can read now, which they say is unusual," he cracked.
Kimmel then took the opportunity to call out conservative pundits and publications like Newt Gingrich, the New York Post, and the Washington Times for branding him as an "out-of-touch Hollywood elitist." (Because, of course, lobbying for health care for all even though you're wealthy enough to afford your own — or get it paid for by taxpayers, if you're a politician — is so elitist.)
The father of four joked that his new "elitist" reputation was a stretch given his childhood diet of powdered milk and canned orange juice.
"I would like to apologise for saying that children in America should have health care," he added. "That was insensitive – it was offensive, and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me."
Kimmel also invited Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana to discuss his intention to provide care for newborns with health problems.
Will any of this sway the Senate? Or are late-night hosts simply more compassionate than politicians?