The question was never whether Jimmy Kimmel would make fun of Donald Trump in his opening monologue, but rather how much. The answer turned out to be: just the right amount.
Kimmel wisely skipped any obvious jokes about POTUS’s tiny hands, impossible hair, or tangerine raccoon face, and instead went in on how much more than half of the country is deeply embarrassed by him. After a slightly awkward beginning involving a mixed signal with a very serious-looking Justin Timberlake, Kimmel immediately addressed the Barnum and Bailey-size elephant in the room. “This broadcast is being watched by millions of Americans and around the world in more than 225 countries that now hate us,” Kimmel said, speaking for a significant portion of the audience. The host then urged everyone to try and get over their differences and reach across the aisle… and used that premise to address his long-running feud with Matt Damon. Talking about our current abysmal political climate without deflating the celebratory feeling of the night is difficult, but Kimmel managed to strike just the right tone between making a point and making people laugh. The only flaw of the opening monologue is that he may have taken it a little too easy on diminishing pariah Mel Gibson.
Watch the entire opening monologue below.