Jimmy Kimmel took a break from roasting his most-despised presidential offspring on Thursday to welcome the son of the current president on his late-night show for a friendly, sympathetic, and occasionally hilarious conversation.
Hunter Biden, who weathered the onslaught of attacks hurled his way before, during, and after the 2020 election, and somehow managed to come out stronger, dropped by Jimmy Kimmel Live in person this week to promote his revealing new memoir, Beautiful Things.
“You know how Donald Trump was always asking where Hunter is?” Kimmel asked in his opening monologue. “Well, he’s here in our building. He’s been here the whole time, it turns out.”
After introducing Biden as “probably the most famous board member of a Ukrainian energy company of all time,” the host told him, “After reading this book, I’m impressed that you are alive.”
“Yeah, it was a journey, but thank God I made it through,” Biden replied. When Kimmel joked that the book may have inadvertently taught him how to find and smoke crack, Biden added, “I hope that wasn’t the message that you took from the book. It’s not a how-to, it’s a please-don’t manual.”
Clarifying that unlike the president’s son, he has never smoked crack, Kimmel said, “I do feel like I understand it now. And I did think it was especially interesting when you wrote about the fact that, what happens the first time you use it is something you chase for the rest of the time you use it. It’s never what it was that first time.”
Biden explained that he wanted to write his book to “humanize people suffering from addiction.” But the story also serves to humanize himself specifically given the way Trump and other Republicans turned him into some sort of evil caricature over the past several years. One of those Republicans was Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who Kimmel noted was closer with Joe Biden when they were serving in the Senate together.
“When you talk about Lindsey Graham being on television attacking you, he was considered a family friend, he was a friend of your father’s,” Kimmel said, “and how strange it is to see that happen, to see a person do that.”
“More than anything, it’s sad,” Biden said with a sigh, referring to his father’s fellow senators as “uncles” whether they were Republican and Democrat. “Politics has become so toxic,” he added. “And I think that the thing that I hope my dad is able to bring back is his genuine desire to take some of that toxicity out again. So I had a deep respect for Senator Graham. And it’s just sad to see the way in which he has decided to, not just attack me, but to approach politics.”
Later, Kimmel asked Biden if it makes him “crazy” when he hears someone like Donald Trump Jr. saying that the only reason he’s had any success is because he’s “a Biden” and “because of his last name.”
“It is wildly comical,” Biden agreed. “That is putting it lightly.”
But when he tried to brush it off by saying he tries not to “spend too much time thinking about it,” Kimmel egged him on, saying, “I do, I think about it all the time.”
Pressed on whether he has ever met Donald Trump Jr., Biden bizarrely replied, “Not that I know of,” adding, “but I’ve been in some pretty rough places.”