Jimmy Kimmel knows his son William “Billy” John, 5 months, will someday watch the emotional monologue in which he broke down in tears speaking about Billy’s congenital heart disease — and probably take after his dad by injecting humor in the situation.
“I just know he’s not really going to care, and also knowing he’s my son, he’s probably going to make fun of me for it,” the late-night host told Matt Lauer in a sit-down for Today. “I will say, that will make me feel better than anything.”
Kimmel, 49, said that he hoped his son would not know how he felt at that moment.
“My problems and my worries shouldn’t be his problems or his worries,” he said. “I think he’s going to have enough to worry about growing up with this questionable heart in his body, and I just want him to worry about hitting a home run in Little League.”
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The comedian said that although he had a feeling that his tear-jerking speech would make the rounds on the internet, he had no idea that it would grab headlines about health care across the country.
“I had no idea it would become a matter of national debate,” he said.
Kimmel said he doesn’t understand a lot of the backlash he’s received — and attacks on his children and wife, Molly McNearney.
“It’s hard to deal with, especially hard for my wife,” he said. “You have to put it out of your head, and you have to understand that most people would not do that if they were having a one-on-one conversation with you, and that sometimes people are just trying to get a reaction out of you.”
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Three days after Billy’s April birth, Kimmel and his wife learned their son needed to have open heart surgery.
In August, Kimmel confirmed to the The Hollywood Reporter his son will need two more procedures, but is still “doing great.”
“We would like to get [the surgeries] over with and not have to think about it all the time, but it could definitely be worse,” Kimmel said.