Jimmy Kimmel returned to the air Monday night from paternity leave and responded to the backlash over his emotional monologue about his newborn son and the need for accessible health care. After thanking people for their support of his family and mockingly embracing his new title of "elitist Hollywood creep," Kimmel spoke with Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, who is pushing to add a "Kimmel test" to any new health care legislation. Kimmel himself suggested his own definition of what that would mean: "No family should be denied medical care, emergency or otherwise, because they can't afford it." (See the video here.) Other excerpts from his monologue, via the Hollywood Reporter and Entertainment Weekly:
- "As a result of my powerful words, Republicans in Congress had second thoughts about repeal and replace, they realized that what is right is right—and I saved health insurance in the United States of America." Then a pause: "Oh, I didn’t? I didn't save it? They voted against it anyway? I really need to pay more attention to the news."
- “I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been called an out-of-touch Hollywood elitist creep this week,” said Kimmel, adding later, "I’d like to apologize for saying that children in America should have health care. That was insensitive. It was offensive, and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.”
- He spent some time rebutting and ridiculing Newt Gingrich, who had said no doctor would turn away a baby in the hospital with a heart problem. "Yes, it is true that if you have an emergency, they will do an operation," Kimmel said, "and that’s terrific if your baby’s health problems are all solved during that one visit. The only problem is that never, ever happens." He wondered if Gingrich's "double layers of Spanx" were restricting blood to his brain.
- He said his son, Billy, is doing well. "What a humbling outpouring of support. So many people made donations to (Children's Hospital Los Angeles), and my wife and I are very grateful. Our plan is to send a card to everyone who made a donation and there were a lot, so you might be getting those at Christmas time."
(Here's what Michelle Malkin had to say