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November 15, 2017

On Monday's Jimmy Kimmel Live, a bunch of celebrities flipped the mean-tweet script and read unkind comments about Kimmel to celebrate his 50th birthday — one of several surprises for Kimmel on the show. "My mother was mad about it after the show — she was like, 'Why would those people say these things about you?'" Kimmel said on Tuesday's Kimmel Live. "She wanted to know where they lived — she's Italian." But one of his 140-character roasters, Larry David, "really enjoyed it," Kimmel said, so much so that the mean tweet he read on Monday's show "was one of the few tweets he read that we could use, because he couldn't stop laughing through the whole thing. Every mean tweet he read about me had him cracking up, so I asked to see them," he said, and he thought you also might want to watch "Larry David unable to curb his enthusiasm about a lack of enthusiasm for me."

The Kimmel mean-tweet segments are a kind of ritualistic public self-flagellation, and so it felt kind of odd to see other people flagellating Kimmel. Showing the David outtakes essentially let Kimmel own his public humiliation, in the traditional mean-tweets spirit. "I don't know how to take that," Kimmel said gamely, "but I'm happy, because I didn't think Larry was capable of that kind of joy in his life." Peter Weber

November 14, 2017

Usually on Jimmy Kimmel's mean-tweet segments, people read mean comments about themselves posted on Twitter. But for Kimmel's 50th birthday, celebrated on Monday's Kimmel Live, a bunch of famous people stepped in to read mean things about Kimmel. The list of mean-tweet-readers included Kimmel's heroes, like David Letterman, as well as comedians like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, actors like Chris Hemsworth and Halle Berry, and comic actors like Larry David — and some of the tweets are pretty mean. There were some weird ones, too, like Kim Kardashian reading a mean tweet about Kimmel from her husband, Kanye West. The reactions, as always, are what make it work.

Also on Kimmel's birthday show, most of which was a surprise for Kimmel, George Clooney hosted a This Is Your Life-type retrospective of Kimmel's life and career, taking some creative liberties and approaching roast territory without quite crossing that line.

Most people get special gifts on their 50th, but Ben Affleck and JJ. Abrams had a special one for Kimmel, featuring, among other people, Matt Damon as an arch-villain. "Wow, that was the best gift I ever got," Kimmel said. Which makes it a pretty happy birthday. Watch below. Peter Weber

November 9, 2017

The 51st annual Country Music Awards were on Wednesday night, and to celebrate, Jimmy Kimmel Live had some of the genre's biggest names read mean tweets about themselves. With R.E.M. on a loop in the background, Blake Shelton read a death wish from a fan, Chris Stapleton and Luke Combs recited critiques of their looks, Darius "Hootie" Rucker and other artists read insults about their music, Jake Owen puzzled over what a frog and coffee emoji have to do with him being a douche, and Lady Antebellum tried to turn the mean tweet into a mean compliment. Trace Adkins had the best response, and you can watch it all below. Peter Weber

September 26, 2017

Monday night's installment of celebrity mean tweets on Jimmy Kimmel Live featured some of America's biggest stars reading unkind things about themselves from Twitter, and in some cases, responding with their own insults, a few of which are pretty profane. Gal Gadot kicked things off, confusedly responding to an admirer's critique of her body while R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" played in the background. Emma Watson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jennifer Anniston, Dave Chappelle, Kristin Bell, and Elisabeth Moss swatted away relatively mild tweets before John Lithgow, Gwyneth Paltrow, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Jennifer Lawrence got saltier ones, and Kumail Nanjiani reacted to his 140-character query by going NSFW himself. Most of the mean-tweeters were people you have never heard of, but Alec Baldwin's tweet was from a certain current president of the United States. Watch below. Peter Weber

May 16, 2017

A week ago, John Oliver introduced FCC chairman Ajit Pai to the late-night crowd, criticizing Pai over his proposal to scale back net neutrality safeguards, his love of quoting The Big Lebowski, and his oversize novelty coffee mug. The video drew a strong response from net neutrality advocates and, as Oliver noted in a follow-up segment Sunday night, some rude comments. Pai hit back using Oliver's own medium, late-night TV, borrowing heavily from Jimmy Kimmel Live to read some mean tweets about himself, in collaboration with the conservative Independent Journal Review.

Pai did not read the 140-character insults over the opening arpeggios of REM's "Everybody Hurts" — as an FCC commissioner and lawyer, he's obviously familiar with copyright infringement — but he did stand in front of a brick backdrop and read mean tweets, some of them offensive and others kind of funny. He responded to each tweet, at one point explaining why he hates America with some feeling and at another quoting The Big Lebowski. None of the tweets or responses dealt with net neutrality, but Pai did literally wink at Oliver at the end. Watch below. Peter Weber

February 3, 2017

To celebrate Super Bowl 51 on Sunday, Jimmy Kimmel Live rolled out Mean Tweets NFL 2 on Thursday night, giving current and former pro football players a chance to read mean things written about them on Twitter over the dulcet intro to R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts." The reactions, as always, are at least as entertaining as the tweets — and this sampling of NFL fans seem particularly fixated on oral sex acts (made SFW by Kimmel). Tony Romo, the Cowboys quarterback, showed that his sense of humor had survived the slings and arrows of Dallas. Kurt Warner was just confused by his mean tweet, Terrell Davis was having none of his 140-character takedown, and someone unsuccessfully tried to fat-shame Maurice Jones-Drew. New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski, who has to sit out Sunday's game, got the final word, and he was mostly content just proving his tweet-tormentor wrong. Watch below. Peter Weber

November 3, 2016

Wednesday night was the Country Music Awards, so it was time for Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Chris Stapleton, and other country singers to step in front of Jimmy Kimmel's brick-wall set and read mean tweets about themselves for our pleasure, with REM playing in the background. This batch of mean tweets got a little vulgar (though still safe for work), and the musicians were either amused or annoyed as they read the critiques. The other members of Little Big Town thought the dig at Kimberly Schlapman's hair was pretty funny, for example. Brett Eldredge was just fine with being called inebriated-looking and Jana Kramer had a sassy response to being told she had a fake Texas accent, but most of the stars just laughed. Watch below. Peter Weber

November 2, 2016

On Tuesday afternoon, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller tweeted out a poll showing Donald Trump up 1 point in Pennsylvania, except there was a problem with his tweet:

Within 15 minutes, Miller or someone on his staff deleted that tweet and posted this: "@MillerForTexas HAS BEEN HACKED. The disgusting re-tweet has been removed and we have changed all account passwords. Be advised." That tweet was also deleted and Miller's office said that the original "tweet was taken down as soon as possible" and "Commissioner Miller finds the term vulgar and offensive and apologizes to anyone who may have seen it" — not, it should be noted, to Hillary Clinton.

Later, Miller — one of Trump's most vocal proponents in Texas, with a history of very questionable tweets — said that he was in meetings all day and had asked his staff to tweet out stuff supportive of Trump. "I said, 'Why don't y'all just do some retweets?'" Miller told The Texas Tribune. "They didn't notice it had a derogatory term in it." That term is "a word I would never use," he told WFAA-TV. "It's deplorable. It's despicable." He did not name the staffer who allegedly posted the tweet.

"Before the offensive tweet surfaced Tuesday afternoon, Miller was enthusiastically tweeting about other polls and floating conspiracy theories about Clinton," The Dallas Morning News notes, and last Friday, he mocked Clinton for being a careful tweeter:

Miller's tweet earned a rebuke from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who called it "reprehensible" and "an embarrassment," adding, "No true Texas gentleman would ever talk this way." The Texas Democratic Party's Crystal Perkins said this is "not about one tweet, it's about a consistent pattern where the Republican Party fails to show even the most basic sense of human decency." But Bud Kennedy at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram had the most cutting retort: "Miller, a Stephenville cowboy rancher who hands out Bibles and quotes scripture, said Tuesday he didn't know anything about the tweet, doesn't know the vulgar, anti-Semitic 'Ricky Vaughn' account it was copied from, and doesn't know anything about a white racist movement supporting Trump. When Sid Miller says he does not know anything, trust him." Peter Weber

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