Jimmy Kimmel and fans of his ABC late-night show owe his wife a great debt of gratitude for blurting out a simple, yet brilliant idea: Recruit the biggest stars in sports and entertainment to read mean tweets about them out loud.
The comedian revealed the origin of one of his most popular recurring segments as the first guest on SiriusXM’s new show “The Bill Carter Interview,” which premieres on Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. on the subscription radio service’s Insight Channel.
“Mean Tweets was my wife’s idea,” Kimmel said. “We were sitting at the dining room table and our mutual friend Kelly Oxford, who is very popular on Twitter, was there and she was kind of going through her Twitter feed and reading some horrible things people were saying about her and to her.”
“And I was like, ‘That’s nothing. Listen to this,’” Kimmel continued. “And I started going through mine, and Molly said ‘Oh, this needs to be on the show. We have to have people read their own mean tweets out loud.’ And that’s really how it happened.”
Kimmel’s wife, Molly McNearney, served as head writer on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” for hundreds of episodes, so it’s no surprise she blurted out the idea, which won a Webby Award earlier this year.
“Mean Tweets” has become so popular, that even President Obama was willing to participate. With over 31 million views, the presidential edition remains the most popular to date and broke the record within 24 hours of airing.
Most recently, Kimmel devoted an entire week to the segment by recruiting stars including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Gwyneth Paltrow, George Clooney, Halle Berry and Liam Neeson to read mean tweets about themselves in front of a live studio audience.
Watch the latest “Mean Tweets” below.