Imagine someone pitching The Man Show in the Age of Woke.
“Now, hear me out. The show has two straight male comics making fun of women, flexing their toxic masculinity and ending each show with girls jumping on trampolines…in bikinis, of course!”
The pitch meeting would end before the word “bikinis” left the person’s lips, assuming the pitch-ee wasn’t canceled by the time he or she left the room.
That program actually ran for six seasons on Comedy Central from 1999-2004, of course. The original hosts, Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel, went on to podcasting and late night glory, respectively.
Carolla makes it his business model to reject Cancel Culture, boosting both his fame and comedy bona fides.
Kimmel took a different path. His Jimmy Kimmel Live is part of late night’s hard-left programming. The show’s jokes mainly target conservatives, with Kimmel serving as a de facto DNC spokesman. He recently compared Florida, a state basking in Gov. Ron DeSantis’ brilliant COVID-19 maneuvering, to North Korea.
Yet Kimmel’s past, and present, suggest a performer ripe for cancellation by the woke Left’s current rulebook.
- The Man Show’s shtick weighed heavily on misogynistic humor, the kind frowned upon by today’s woke overlords.
- Kimmel donned blackface several times on The Man Show to impersonate both basketball great Karl Malone and Oprah Winfrey.
- Kimmel dueled with Fox News opinion host Sean Hannity in 2018, during which Kimmel used homophobic slurs against him. The host later apologized.
- Kimmel has routinely trashed trans celebrity Caitlyn Jenner since she announced she’ll run for governor in California. Anti-Jenner barbs by both Ricky Gervais and Dave Chappelle drew the ire of woke activists. The Jimmy Kimmel Live host wondered if Jenner wasn’t just President Donald Trump in a wig.
Kimmel’s blackface past alone could be cause for cancellation. He repeatedly embraced the concept, far more than what fellow late night host Jimmy Fallon did in imitating Chris Rock in 2000. Yet Fallon had to perform a groveling, on-air apology for his single blackface routine on The Tonight Show.
Kimmel, by comparison eventually released a non-apology apology for his serial blackface work, a statement which spent much of its attacking his critics.
“I have long been reluctant to address this, as I knew doing so would be celebrated as a victory by those who equate apologies with weakness and cheer for leaders who use prejudice to divide us…
Looking back, many of these sketches are embarrassing, and it is frustrating that these thoughtless moments have become a weapon used by some to diminish my criticisms of social and other injustices.
I believe that I have evolved and matured over the last twenty-plus years, and I hope that is evident to anyone who watches my show. I know that this will not be the last I hear of this and that it will be used again to try to quiet me. I love this country too much to allow that. I won’t be bullied into silence by those who feign outrage to advance their oppressive and genuinely racist agendas.
Kimmel suffered no professional consequences for his blackface past. In fact, he’s hosted the Oscars twice, the Emmys thrice, and he continues to draw laudatory press attention.
His most recent comments regarding Jenner are considered acceptable to the usual woke suspects because his target is running as a Republican. The woke brigade generally won’t cancel people if they’re attacking right-leaning targets.
They didn’t cancel Howard Stern after his racially charged bits of yore “resurfaced.” At the time, Stern spilled endless invectives against President Donald Trump.
The mob looked the other way when Bette Midler repeatedly wished violence upon Republican Sen. Rand Paul. They similarly refused to cancel Alec Baldwin despite the actor’s track record of deeply problematic actions and words. Why? Baldwin spent four-plus years mocking President Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live.
Why hasn’t Kimmel been canceled yet, and why is it unlikely to ever happen? He’s a progressive who preaches to the liberal choir from his ABC perch. He’s too valuable to them to be removed. More importantly, he targets Republicans with his comedic barbs.
Combine the two, and Kimmel is all but cancel-proof.
[Cross-posted from Hollywood in Toto.]