“On what was yet another crazy day here in the United States of America, more famous and powerful men accused today of inappropriate behavior, including—this was a shocker—Santa Claus,” Jimmy Kimmel joked at the top of his monologue on Wednesday night.
He was actually talking about someone else.
As Kimmel explained, he was with his wife this morning when she looked at her phone and just said the words, “Matt Lauer.”
“Of course, I assumed he was dead,” Kimmel said. “I guess this is better, I don’t know.”
From there, the ABC host swiftly moved on to President Donald Trump, who reacted to Lauer’s “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace” by calling for an investigation at NBC. “I’ll tell you, if anyone knows about inappropriate behavior at the workplace at NBC, it’s Donald J. Trump,” Kimmel said of the former Celebrity Apprentice host, who was caught on NBC’s Access Hollywood bragging about sexually assaulting women. “Is he aware that he’s him? I don’t think he is. I think he sees Donald Trump on TV and goes, I like that guy.”
“As far as Matt Lauer goes, what happens now? Does he have to do an emotional sit-down interview with himself?” Kimmel asked.
Then, he presented a misguided bit in which he asked the question, “If Matt Lauer is off the Today show for his behavior, what happens to Kathie Lee Gifford?” After playing a montage of “Spanky Tuesday,” a tradition that apparently involves Gifford spanking co-host Hoda Kotb, Kimmel joked, “Wow, Hoda clearly told her to stop more than one time and she didn’t.”
Kimmel may not have been trying to minimize the seriousness of the allegations against Lauer, which as of Wednesday night include sexual assault, but that seems to be what he did.
Yet, Kimmel, along with CBS’ Stephen Colbert, still had more to say about Lauer than NBC’s Jimmy Fallon, who made just one measly crack about the biggest story of the day in his Tonight Show monologue.
“If you’re wondering where in the world is Matt Lauer, he’s probably at a bar with Charlie Rose,” Fallon joked.