Jimmy Kimmel returned to his late night talk show on Monday with an update about his newborn son’s health.
“Our son Billy is doing very well,” Kimmel shared. “He’s eating, he’s getting bigger, he’s sleeping well. He can read now, which they say is unusual for his age.”
Kimmel took a week off from hosting the show following the birth of his son, who had to undergo life-saving open-heart surgery hours after he was delivered.
Before his brief hiatus last week, Kimmel revealed the news during a tearful monologue, during which he also advocated for the importance of affordable universal healthcare and encouraged fans to donate to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
On Monday, he addressed the bill recently passed by the House of Representatives that would potentially repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with a controversial bill that could cost millions of people their health coverage.
“One week ago tonight, I made an emotional speech that was seen by millions, and as a result of my powerful words that night, Republicans in Congress had second thoughts about ‘repeal and replace.’ They realized that what is right is right, and I saved health insurance in the United States of America!” Kimmel joked, before pretending to get a correction from his off-screen producer. “What’s that? I didn’t? I didn’t save it? They voted against it anyway! I really need to pay more attention to the news.”
Throughout the week, Kimmel received an outpouring of support, but also took heat from several right-wing pundits and journalists who raked him over the coals for his political stance on health care.
“There was so much kindness, so much compassion, it was hard to even process,” he shared. “But there were also some not so nice things that people said online, including members of the media.”
Kimmel displayed a few online publications that decried his heartfelt plea, and labeled him an “out of touch Hollywood elitist creep.”
“I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been called an ‘out of touch Hollywood elitist creep’ this week,” Kimmel joked. “Which, I have to say, I kind of appreciate. Because when I was a kid, we had to drink powdered milk because we couldn’t afford the liquid. Our orange juice came frozen out of a can, it would squeeze out. My father — on the rare occasion we took a family trip — would hide our dog in the back of the car and then smuggle it into our motel room to avoid paying the two-dollar pet fee.”
“So I have to say, my dream was to become an ‘out of touch Hollywood elitist.’ And I guess it came true!” he added.
However, to all of his critics who attacked him for coming out in support of children having access to medical help and health insurance, Kimmel had something of a mea culpa.
“I would like to apologize for saying that children in America should have health care,” Kimmel said, sarcastically. “It was insensitive. It was offensive, and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.”