Jimmy Kimmel Honors Norman Lear by Sharing a Profanity-Filled Thank You Letter From Him (Video)

“I loved him dearly,” Kimmel says about Lear, who died Tuesday at age 101

Before the start of his ABC show on Wednesday, Jimmy Kimmel honored one of his personal heroes, groundbreaking TV creator Norman Lear, who died Tuesday night at age 101.

Kimmel of course expressed his heartfelt appreciation for Lear, creator of landmark shows like “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons,” who Kimmel called “one of the most important and impressive people I ever had the pleasure of meeting.”

But the ABC host also paid tribute to Lear’s legendary sense of humor by sharing a hilarious, profanity-filled thank you note Lear once sent him.

“Hi, before we start the show, and before the audience comes into our theater. I just wanted to tell you that, last night at around 7 PM, 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,” Kimmel began.

“His name is Norman Lear. Norman was the genius who brought us some of the greatest television shows and characters of all time. ‘All in the Family,’ ‘Good Times,’ ‘The Jeffersons,’ ‘Maude,’ ‘The Facts of Life,’ ‘Diff’Rent Strokes,’ ‘Sanford and Son,’ ‘One Day at a Time,’ ‘Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,’ ‘Fernwood Tonight’ — it’s an incredible list and he was an incredible person,” Kimmel continued.

“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 said. “I was fortunate enough to work with Norman on several projects over the last five years, including live revivals of some of his greatest shows and I loved him dearly.”

Kimmel then explained how a year ago, he and his wife sent Lear a t-shirt for Christmas that had “Norman F-ing Lear” printed on the front. “And He loved it.  He wrote us a note. A thank you note. I want to share that with you.”

Kimmel then read the letter aloud, which was as follows: 

Dear Molly and Jimmy, 

I can’t f—ing believe this f—ing sweatshirt. It’s something I’ve always wanted more than I can f—ing tell. You guys are the f—ing best and I wish you the dearest, sweetest, greatest f—ing holiday season in the history of holiday f—ing seasons.

Signed  

Norman F. Lear 

“His middle name was Milton so,” Kimmel said after reading, it, visibly tearing up. “Norman was a hundred when he wrote that.  He died last night at 101. 101 years and somehow, it wasn’t enough. He leaves behind his wife Lyn, a beautiful family, and a legacy that won’t ever be matched. It would be impossible. We were all lucky to have him. I hope we never forget him, or the many the lessons he taught us.”

Kimmel concluded by noting that Lear “never said goodbye. He’d say ‘to be continued,’ and ‘over and next.’ And so that’s how we’ll leave it. To be continued…over and next.”

Watch the clip above now.

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