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Why Jimmy Kimmel's heartbreaking monologue on his son is so important

The late night host got emotional on air last night

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On last night's episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, the host got vulnerable as he discussed his newborn son's health issues

In his first show since the birth of his son William, Jimmy Kimmel did not deliver his usual topical monologue. What he did instead was something far more painful and moving as he instead recounted the experiences he and his family faced when it was discovered his newborn son suffered from a heart disease. While Kimmel assured everyone from the outset that the story had a happy ending, Kimmel's son was able to be safely operated on and is now home with his family, over the 13-minute monologue Kimmel frequently broke down as he acknowledged everyone who helped keep his child alive.

While Kimmel still sprinkled in some of his patented snarky humor to lighten the proceedings, what Kimmel shared was breathtakingly in its ordinariness. As much as we still look to celebrities as some other form of being, nothing about what occurred was unique to Kimmel's situation. Countless new parents face the ordeals he and his wife went through, but rather than hide from the painful reality and try to act as if nothing was wrong, Kimmel seized his platform to take a moment and give the world some insight into this experience. And as Kimmel himself points out towards the end of his monologue, children all over the country face the same complications his son did, and rely on healthcare services currently being threatened by our federal government. Yet, because few have the ability to speak directly into camera to millions every evening, Kimmel chose to be the messenger, asking for support from his audience to ensure parents can give their children the care they require.

Kimmel himself proved an important messenger in his willingness to be vulnerable in front of the camera. In a culture that still struggles to embrace the notion of men expressing their emotions, the importance of Kimmel's message is only emphasized by his willingness to drop his jokester persona and make his audience understand the realities of what he and his family had been through. For these thirteen minutes, he's not a comedian or a performer, but he's just a dad, filled with fear and gratitude over his experiences. By stripping away the veneer of showmanship and celebrity, he gave the country a window into countless families' trauma. All we can do now is hope people watch this monologue and understand the importance of ensuring as many children as possible have the opportunity to survive.


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