Jimmy Kimmel was not playing for laughs tonight. Finally out of the woods after a near-death scare with his newborn son, Billy, the comedian relayed a personal, heart-wrenching story. (Video below.)
With tears in his eyes from the moment he took the stage, Kimmel told the audience, “I want you to know, it has a happy ending. So don’t get too upset, leave that to me.”
Billy was born with a life-threatening heart defect, which doctors discovered shortly after he was born. Kimmel’s eyes filled with tears and his voice choked up as he described how, thanks to the astute observations and rapid responses of nurses and doctors, the hours-old Kimmel was rushed into life-saving open-heart surgery.
Kimmel thanked the many people who had done so much for him and his family, even working in some laugh lines, including a big thank you to his wife, “first of all, for letting me have sex with her in the first place,” and “even that son of a bitch Matt Damon [who] sent flowers.”
The comedian then turned his attention to the divisive political climate (at the 10:22 mark). “President Trump last month proposed a $6 billion cut to the National Institute of Health, and thank God our congressmen made a deal last night to not go along with that deal,” he said to applause from the audience.
He went on to remind the crowd that only a few years ago, an American in his son’s position might never be able to gain health insurance due to his preexisting condition.
“If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make,” he continued. “I think that’s something that whether you’re a Republican or Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?”
Kimmel should be applauded for the courage it took to share his deeply moving and personal story so that other families may be helped. We share in the joy and relief of knowing that Billy got the life-saving treatment he needed, and we join the Kimmels in the fight to make healthcare a right for every American.
Kimmel’s powerful story can be viewed below: