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Tuning into Jimmy Kimmel Live! usually means you're going to catch some celebs reading self-deprecating tweets or watch him introduce some incredible movie trailers. But on Monday night's episode, the humor initially took a backseat to host Jimmy Kimmel telling an emotionally haranguing story about a health scare that befell the infant son that his wife Molly McNearney gave birth to recently. Grab your tissues, hug your children and hit play on the video below.
This monologue presumably does a good job of making it very obvious which viewers have kids and which ones don't, since it's roughly 1000% more impossible for child-less folks to understand the stomach-hollowing fear and despair that comes with the fear for an infant's life. (A gross generalization, but still.) There's something crippling about being able to mentally substitute one's own offspring for another child in trouble, and while I probably could have watched Jimmy Kimmel's story a decade ago merely feeling vague pangs of sympathy, I'm far more of a mess these days.
For those who didn't get the whole story, Jimmy Kimmel's infant son Billy was quickly found to have tetralogy of fallot, a congenital heart defect from birth that poses problems in breathing and other issues. At just three days old, Billy went through open heart surgery at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles, which was thankfully a success, and he was soon happy and healthy enough to go home with his new parents
To be expected, when Jimmy Kimmel's tears made an appearance, they weren't tears of sadness, but ones of joy and appreciation and an untarnished fondness for everyone around him who reached out and offered condolences and words of kindness. Perhaps also to be expected, since this is late night, Kimmel did take some mildly political moments to give an impassioned plea for health care, saying that no child's life should ever be put on the line because of money.
Not that only down-trodden feelings were to be had. Ever the comedian, Jimmy Kimmel did manage to draw some laughs from the crowd, and even himself. One of the bigger ones came when he showed everyone the before-surgery and after-surgery pictures, and Kimmel pitied the lil guy for having his dad's facial features. And when thanking everyone and talking about the cards and flowers he and his wife received -- no, he didn't read the cards -- he throws it out there that his old nemesis Matt Damon also sent something. (And Ben Affleck was not it.)
It was only recently that Jimmy Kimmel put the word out there that he might not be in the late night talk show game for that much longer, and spending free time with his wife and then-impending child were an impetus for the potential career change. One can't imagine that going through this health scare will make him all the more willing to be at work all the time.
To that end, Jimmy Kimmel Live! will see a string of guest hosts come in while Kimmel takes time off for paternity leave, with Will Arnett taking over first. The show airs weeknights on ABC at 11:35 p.m. ET. Head to our summer TV premiere schedule to see what else is hitting the small screen in the coming months.