If comedy really is tragedy plus time, Jimmy Kimmel might want to tinker with his equations a little. At least, that seems to be the conclusion of some critics who took issue with his jokes about the passing of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner on Thursday’s airing of “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
Kimmel riffed on the death of the publishing giant, who died Wednesday at age 91.
“Hugh Hefner passed away yesterday at home at the Playboy Mansion. He was pronounced dead of natural causes causes, although they won’t be able to rule out foul play for quite some time because of all the DNA evidence they found in the house,” Kimmel cracked. “It might take 20 years.”
“I was thinking about it last night; Hugh Hefner is probably the only person ever to be disappointed by heaven; ‘What’s with all these harps? Let’s get some naked girls in here!’” Kimmel continued.
Kimmel also wisecracked, “Mr. Hefner was an advocate for racial equality, free speech and equal rights, but mostly he’ll be remembered for the boobs.”
The late-night host’s jokes rubbed some people the wrong way, judging from comments left under the YouTube video of the segment.
“Too soon, Jimmy. Too soon,” wrote one critic. “RIP Hugh Hefner.”
“This is a bit disrespectful,” tsk-tsked another.
“Bit early for the jokes isn’t it?” another wrote.
“What a way to trivialize someone’s death and make a joke out of it regardless of the man’s personal life he had kids and a family dad loves and is going to miss him and you’re making a joke that he’s dead,” went another critical response.
To be sure, Kimmel had his defenders.
“it’s not disrespectful, it’s his job to make jokes,” read one pro-Kimmel response.
“it’s not to soon he wasn’t violently killed the man lived a great life and died happy,” another responder reasoned.
Watch the segment and share your thoughts in the comments section: Did Jimmy Kimmel jump the gun with his Hugh Hefner jokes?