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Jimmy Kimmel Goes Full Letterman on Cassidy, Graham, and Fox News

By Dustin Rowles | Late Night TV | September 21, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Late Night TV | September 21, 2017 |

A few days ago, I showed the kids some old clips from David Letterman — Stupid Human Tricks, Stupid Pet Tricks, visits from Jack Hannah — and now it’s literally all they want to watch. Every night before bed, they’re like, “Can we watch some more Letterman, Dad?” and it’s been one of the most satisfying experiences of my parenting career. Dave is back in my life again.

Apropos of that, here’s my favorite Dave moment of all time, and why Chris Elliot will always be #TheBestChris.

My son thought that was the funniest thing he’s ever seen, and when I saw it when I was a teenager, it changed my life, so it felt like some sort of generational circle had been closed.

Anyway, seeing Dave again so much lately, it’s hard not to recognize him in Jimmy Kimmel. After Dave’s heart surgery, he became a more, I don’t want to say a more “serious” person, but a person who, I guess, cared more. Issues mattered to him more, and when he got it in his head to take up an issue, he was like a dog with a bone. He would not let it go. He’d harangue, and when he did, it had bite.

That’s what’s happening here with Jimmy. After his son’s heart surgery, this all became personal. Jimmy realized that he could do more in his position than make jokes. He could affect change, and for the better. So, he’s taken up health care, and his jokes have stakes. He’s involved. His name is being used. It’s personal. And while I love Seth Meyers — I think he’s the best thing going in late night right now — Kimmel has elevated the political discourse on his show into something different, something that transcends late-night comedy conventions.

So, when he calls Brian Kilmeade of Fox & Friends a “phony little creep,” that’s not a joke. That’s not late-night banter. That’s Jimmy’s honest take on the man. That’s Letterman calling Trump a racist back in 2012. He fucking means it.

Anyway, here’s Jimmy last night.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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