Jimmy Kimmel ushered in the new era of three-way competition on late-night TV Tuesday with a little help from his celebrity friends.
One of them was Jennifer Aniston, in her first-ever appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” who pitched in to help “renovate” Kimmel’s new set and trim Kimmel’s hair.
But before she came on the show, 14 other celebs took part in a classic “Kimmel” bit, “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets,” in which the stars each recited an insulting Tweet emanating from the general public.
For example, Selena Gomez read this one: “Selena Gomez is on the radio right now. Is there a volume lower than mute?” And Jessica Biel recited “My Asian orthodontist says Jessica Biel has horse teeth.”
The Tweet Kirstie Alley read was more insulting: “Kirstie Alley is a dirty whore,” the Tweet said. Other celebs who took part in the bit included Dr. Phil, Larry King, Anderson Cooper, Christina Applegate, Tom Arnold, Bryan Cranston and others.
The “Mean Tweets” bit was part of an opening segment on “JKL” that stretched to just over 15 minutes in length. Besides delivering a monologue that opened with several references to Kimmel’s big move to the earlier time period, the segment included two other signature bits — “Lie Witness News” and a “YouTube Challenge.”
“The deal is this,” Kimmel said at the start of his monologue, ushering in the new era in which ABC will now compete head-on for viewers and ad dollars for the first time ever with both “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on NBC and “Late Show with David Letterman” on CBS. “We used to be on at midnight and now we’re on at 11:35. I’m now 25 minutes closer to my lifelong dream of co-hosting ‘The View’!”
Kimmel even noted that the move of his show to its new, earlier time period has displaced “Nightline,” which led off ABC’s late-night time period for decades. “For those of who you tuned in expecting to see ‘Nightline’ right now, this is not it,” Kimmel quipped. ” ‘Nightline’ is on after us now [at 12:35 a.m. eastern time] and I hope you stay up to watch it because it’s a great show. But just because this isn’t ‘Nightline,’ that doesn’t mean we’re not going to talk about an important subject. For instance, did you know Honey Boo Boo’s mother is afraid of mayonnaise?”
In Kimmel’s “Lie Witness News” bit, a camera crew does person-on-the-street interviews on Hollywood Boulevard in which passersby are asked to comment on something that did not happen. For example, in a bit last fall, passersby were asked if they watched the recent televised debate between Michelle Obama and Ann Romney — an event that was entirely fictional — and plenty of people said they watched it, and even gave their opinions on it. Tuesday night, passersby were asked if they’ve been watching “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in its new time period, although the show had not yet made its move. The bald-faced lying has to be seen to be believed.
And, in this new YouTube challenge, Kimmel asked people who were watching Monday night’s college football championship game on ESPN to videotape themselves hugging (and blocking) their TV sets at crucial moments — drawing angry reactions from others who were about to miss a crucial play. The results were just savage.
Later, when it was time for her segment, Jennifer Aniston came on the show in a dress, heels and safety goggles and wielding a sizable sledgehammer. She then used the heavy instrument to destroy Kimmel’s desk, which he had said just moments earlier happened to be brand-new.
But to make up for the destruction, Jen later helped Jimmy with his grooming (although to us, Kimmel didn’t really need any help since his hair already appeared trimmed and neatly combed!).
Aniston was Kimmel’s sole celebrity guest on the inaugural 11:35 p.m. show Tuesday night, but his musical guest was No Doubt.