Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel revealed in a moving monologue in May that his son Billy had been born just a few days before with a heart disease. Kimmel took the moment on his show to stress the importance of health care access for all Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions, which was a nod to President Donald Trump wanting to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Months later, the comedian is opening up about one day showing that emotional segment to his son.
In an interview with Matt Lauer on “Today,” Kimmel said he figured the monologue would be “a video that people shared,” not a national news debate. When Lauer asked whether Kimmel wants to show his son the monologue someday, the host joked that his child will probably add some humor to the situation.
“I just know he’s not really going to care, and also knowing that he’s my son, there’s a good chance he’ll make fun of me for it,” he said. “That will make me feel better than anything.”
Kimmel also touched on the feedback he received from viewers. Although he saw immense support from some, others criticized the host.
“I understand people disagreeing with me. I don’t understand being angry when it comes to health care. I really don’t understand that because I think it’s obvious what my intent is. I don’t understand a lot of the backlash. What I especially don’t understand are the monstrous things people would write about my child and my wife, [“Jimmy Kimmel Live!” co-head writer Molly McNearney],” he said, adding later, “It’s hard to deal with.”
When asked whether he wants his son to know what he felt like during the monologue, Kimmel said he was unsure.
“My problems and my worries shouldn’t be his problems or his worries,” Kimmel told Lauer. “I think he’s going to have enough to worry about growing up with this questionable heart in his body. I just want him to worry about hitting a home run in Little League.”
In an interview with The New York Times published earlier this week, Kimmel said he has looked back on the monologue and thought maybe he should have hesitated to share his son’s health issues so publicly.
″What I didn’t think through was that, everywhere I went, every day of my life, people would be asking me how my son is doing,” he said, adding later, “But thank God I can say he’s doing well. If that wasn’t the case, each day would be very, very painful.”