Jimmy Kimmel Pays Tribute to Norman Lear: A Mentor and Inspiration

Television Icon Norman Lear's Profound Impact Remembered Fondly

by Zain ul Abedin
Jimmy Kimmel Pays Tribute to Norman Lear: A Mentor and Inspiration
© Mindy Small/Getty Images

Beloved TV writer, producer, and activist Norman Lear passed away on December 5th in Los Angeles, marking the end of an era. This poignant news has prompted an outpouring of grief and remembrance from across the entertainment industry, with Jimmy Kimmel, the renowned host of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and a close friend and collaborator of Lear, leading the heartfelt tributes.

In a solemn and emotional opening to his long-standing ABC late-night show, Jimmy Kimmel mourned the loss of Norman Lear, describing him as a "genius" and an individual of immense significance. Lear, who reached the remarkable age of 101, was more than just a television icon; he was a cultural force who reshaped the landscape of situational comedy.

Jimmy Kimmel, aged 56, began his tribute by saying, “Last night at around 7 p.m., we lost not only a giant in the world of television but a great man who was one of the most important and impressive people I ever had the pleasure of meeting”.

Lear's impact on television was immeasurable, as he was the creative mind behind some of the most iconic TV shows and characters in history.

Jimmy Kimmel on Lear's TV Legacy

Kimmel elaborated on Lear's influential legacy: "Norman was the genius who brought us some of the greatest television shows and characters of all time”.

He went on to list some of Lear's most renowned creations, highlighting the incredible breadth of his contributions to the medium. “It’s an incredible list, and he was an incredible person," Kimmel continued. Norman Lear's ability to infuse humor with social commentary was a hallmark of his work, and Kimmel acknowledged the profound impact Lear had on the industry and society as a whole.

“He changed situation comedy in the best possible way. He taught us so much about so many serious things, always making us laugh while he did it, and everyone who works in or even watches television owes him a great debt.

Especially me,” Kimmel asserted. Drawing from his personal experiences, Jimmy Kimmel shared anecdotes of his collaborations with Norman Lear over the past five years, which included live revivals of Lear's classic shows.

Kimmel also cherished the humor Lear brought to their projects, and he fondly recalled a holiday gift he and his spouse, Molly McNearney, had sent Lear: a shirt with the cheeky inscription "Norman F-ing Lear" on the front.

Lear's response to this gesture was equally endearing, as Kimmel shared the heartfelt thank-you note from the late legend. Norman Lear's passing leaves a void in the entertainment industry, but his legacy will continue to shine brightly through the timeless shows and enduring impact he left behind.

Jimmy Kimmel's tribute serves as a poignant reminder of the profound influence that Lear had on television and the lives he touched along the way. As we reflect on his remarkable career, we remember a man who made us laugh and think and who will forever be cherished in our hearts.