Jimmy Kimmel returned to television for the first time since last week, when he shared the story of his infant son Billy’s surgery for a heart condition.
Billy is doing well, Kimmel said as he thanked viewers for donating to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to help other sick babies.
Although millions tuned in to “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” last Monday and watched clips online of the host turning his son’s crisis into a plea for Americans of all political leanings to unite for health care, he soon found himself slammed by conservatives.
“I cannot count the number of times I’ve been called an ‘out-of-touch Hollywood elitist creep,’” Kimmel said on Monday night’s program, adding he “kind of appreciates” the insult.
“When I was a kid, we had to drink the powdered milk because we couldn’t afford the liquid,” Kimmel said. He added that on rare trips, his family would smuggle their dog into motel rooms to avoid paying a $2 pet fee.
“My dream was to become an out-of-touch Hollywood elitist,’” Kimmel said. “And I guess it came true.”
Then, Kimmel delivered a scathing apology to his critics:
“I’d like to apologize for saying that children in America should have health care. It was insensitive. It was offensive, and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.”
Kimmel was also joined by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who wants a new health care plan to pass “the Jimmy Kimmel test” and provide services for babies during the first year of life.
See Kimmel’s full monologue and the interview with Cassidy above.