Chicago Sun-Times critic Tom Shales left no doubt about his distaste for "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"
In a nearly 2,000 word review, Shales eviscerated both the show and its host on the occasion that the ABC talk show moved from midnight to 11:35.
Shales, a Pulitzer-winning TV critic best known for his work at The Washington Post and whose vicious reviews have become the norm, opens by assessing Kimmel's newfound status as the late night competition to David Letterman and Jay Leno: "Jimmy Kimmel still comes across like a guy who crashed a party and got caught at it, yet adamantly refuses to leave," Shales wrote.
He lamented ABC's decision to move Kimmel to the 11:35 spot, calling it a "bad, bad thing" to move the TV newsmagazine "Nightline" to 12:35.
His claim that "The Chevy Chase Show," the notoriously disastrous late night talk show hosted by the former "SNL" star, "was 'Masterpiece Theater' compared to Kimmel's" show may seem a bit over the top, but Shales hardly stops there. Throughout the course of his review, he called Kimmel a "living monotone in most conceivable senses of the word," and harshly pans every segment on Kimmel's Tuesday show from the opening monologue, to the guest bits and even Kimmel's sidekick Guillermo.
Shales unfavorably compares Kimmel to the host's broadcasting hero David Letterman, calling him "a giant compared to his two major competitors in the arena." He also criticized Letterman for appearing on Kimmel's show during its week of Brooklyn shows, implying that Kimmel's show is unworthy of Letterman's presence.
Notably, the review contained little evidence that Shales had seen much of Kimmel's show prior to its 11:35 time change. The bulk of the takedown referenced Tuesday's episode, with no mention of the previous nine years of the show that cemented Kimmel as a late night star worthy to go head-to-head in the most prestigious late night time slot on television.
But even if he had not commented on Kimmel's work at length in the past, his opinion has been consistent. In September, Shales called Kimmel's hosting of the Emmys "cruel and unusual punishment."
As dour as Shales' review reads, Kimmel is actually in good company. In 1993, Shales famously dismissed "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" in similar terms of his Kimmel pan. He wrote at the time that O'Brien is "a switch on the guest who won't leave; he's the host who should never have come."
But by 1996, Shales had done a complete 180 on O'Brien. In a column entitled "So I Was Wrong," he said that "Late Night" had "gone through one of the most amazing transformations in television history."
In his Kimmel review, Shales has little nice to say about anyone in the late night field, save for Jimmy Fallon's "Late Night," which he says "is easily funnier than anything Kimmel has done." However, he goes on to bash Fallon's Capital One and Lincoln commercials as luring "still more millions of Americans into unmanageable and hopeless debt."
Luckily for Kimmel, TV viewers seem to disagree with Shales' assessment of the show. His debut week at 11:35 has seen him fluctuate between second and third place, but has seen increasing numbers in the 18-49 demographic.
Also on HuffPost:
Jimmy Kimmel As Jay Leno
In this publicity image released by ABC, Jimmy Kimmel is dressed as late night host Jay Leno during "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/ABC, Mitch Haddad)
Jimmy Kimmel 2003
"Jimmy Kimmel Live" started in January, 2003.
Jimmy Kimmel And Uncle Frank
In this Dec. 16, 2010 photo released by ABC, late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, right, talks with his Uncle Frank Potenza on the set of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. Potenza, who handled both security and comedy on ABCs Jimmy Kimmel Live!, died Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011 at the age of 77. (AP Photo/ABC, Adam Larkey)
Jimmy Kimmel At 'Funny People' Premiere
HOLLYWOOD - JULY 20: Comedian Jimmy Kimmel attends the premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Funny People' held at ArcLight Cinemas Cinerama Dome on July 20, 2009 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Jimmy Kimmel With Jon Stewart And Stephen Colbert
This image released by Disney ABC Television Group shows host Jimmy Kimmel, right, with guests, Stephen Colbert, from "The Colbert Report," left, and Jon Stewart from "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," during the "Jimmy Kimmell Live" show, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 in New York. (AP Photo/Disney ABC Television Group, Jeff Neira)
CHICAGO - JULY 13: Jimmy Kimmell hits the ball during the All Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game on July 13, 2003 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Firestone, Kimmell joke
CHICAGO - JULY 13: Andrew Firestone and Jimmy Kimmell joke before the All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game on July 13, 2003 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jimmy Kimmel And David Letterman
In this Oct. 31, 2012 photo released by ABC, host Jimmy Kimmel, right, speaks with guest David Letterman during "Jimmy Kimmel Live," in the Brooklyn borough of New York. New York's late-night TV hosts were back in swing, though, with all resuming regular production Wednesday. Kimmel, who usually broadcasts from Los Angeles, is doing a week of shows in Brooklyn. (AP Photo/ABC, Jeff Neira)
Jimmy Kimmel During The Blackout
In a photo provided by "Jimmy Kimmel Live," Dierks Bentley, center with guitar, and his band are recorded on a laptop computer on the desk in front of Jimmy Kimmel, right, at the taping of the "Jimmy Kimmel Live" show Tuesday night June 22, 2010 in Los Angeles. The show was recorded on a laptop after a power outage shut down the control room, broadcast transmission center, and tape operations area. (AP Photo/Fred Greissing)
FILE - This Nov. 12, 2012 file photo shows Jimmy Kimmel at the TV Guide Magazine's 2012 Hot List Party at Skybar at the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, Calif. Kimmel went head-to-head Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, for the first time against CBS Late Show with David Letterman and NBCs Tonight Show with Jay Leno. According to Nielsen fast national ratings, Kimmel edged out Letterman and ran slightly behind Leno in total viewers. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision/AP, file)
Jimmy Kimmel On The Red Carpet
Jimmy Kimmel And His Son Kevin
SANTA MONICA, CA - FEBRUARY 24: Television talk show host Jimmy Kimmel (L) and son Kevin Kimmel arrive at the 22nd Annual Film Independent Spirit Awards held at Santa Monica Beach on February 24, 2007 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Jimmy Kimmel And Manny Pacquiao
This iimage provided by ABC, shows boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, left, joking with talk show host, Jimmy Kimmel Nov. 3, 2011 on the set of Jimmy Kimmel Live in Los Angeles. Pacquiao has made five appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live, promoting his pay-per-view bouts. (AP Photo/ABC, Carin Baer)
Jimmy Kimmel With 'Twilight' Cast & Creator
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 03: (L-R) Actors Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, writer Stephenie Meyer, actor Taylor Lautner and TV personality Jimmy Kimmel attend Hand and Footprint Ceremony at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre on November 3, 2011 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Jimmy Kimmel And Bob Barker
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 7: Television game show host Bob Barker and emcee Jimmy Kimmel pick raffle winners at the 44th Annual ICG Publicists Awards Luncheon on February 7, 2007 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
Jimmy Kimmel At The 60th Primetime Emmy Awards
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel speaks onstage during the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre on September 21, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Jay-Z Performs On 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' On Hollywood Boulevard
HOLLYWOOD - NOVEMBER 22: Jay-Z and Jimmy Kimmel appear onstage during a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live outside of the El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard on November 22, 2006 in Hollywood, California. Jay-Z is appearing on the late night show to support his return to music and new album, 'Kingdom Come.' (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)
HRTS Newsmaker Luncheon Presents "The Hitmakers"
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 29: (L-R) Executive producer Ali LeRoi and TV host and moderator Jimmy Kimmel speak at the HRTS Newsmaker Luncheon Presents 'The Hitmakers' at the Regent Beverly Wilshire on November 29, 2005 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images for HRTS)
ABC 2004 Winter Press Tour
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 15: (L to R) Television host Jimmy Kimmel of the 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' television show and producer Duncan Gray attend the ABC 2004 Winter Press Tour at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel on January 15, 2004 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images).
ABC Network All-Star Party
NEW YORK - MAY 18: TV Host Jimmy Kimmel (C) Actresses Faith Ford (L) and Kelly Ripa (R) attend the ABC Network All-Star Party on May 18, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)
ABC All-Star Party
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 15: Actor Jimmy Kimmel attends 'The ABC All-Star Party' to celebrate the networks mid-season television shows at Quixote Studios on January 15, 2003 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 12: Host Jimmy Kimmel moderating the Hollywood Radio and Television Society 'The Hitmakers Luncheon' a gathering of some of the hottest creators and producers in television today November 12, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)