No jokes here. An emotional Jimmy Kimmel got choked up during his monologue on his late-night show on Tuesday, July 28, while discussing the death of Cecil the Lion, who was reportedly killed by dentist Walter Palmer earlier this month.
Kimmel expressed disgust with Palmer, who is accused of luring the famous lion out of a national park in Zimbabwe on July 6, shooting him with a crossbow, and tracking him on a 40-hour hunt. After finding Cecil, the American dentist reportedly killed, beheaded, and skinned the 13-year-old lion, who became famous as part of an Oxford University research project and is a star at Hwange National Park.
"Is it that difficult for you to get an erection?" Kimmel demanded in his monologue. "That you need to kill things that are stronger than you?"
Clearly outraged, Kimmel said Palmer taking Viagra would "save himself from being the most hated man in America, who never advertised Jell-O pudding." His reference to Jell-O pudding, of course, was a dig at Bill Cosby, who is currently accused of sexually assaulting more than 35 women.
The final moments of Kimmel's monologue were the most emotional and reflective as the comic requested that fans of Cecil make donations to Oxford's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, which studied the famed feline. As he made the request, Kimmel teared up and noted to his audience that he wanted this narrative to become a "positive" one.
Kimmel isn't the only celebrity to speak out against Palmer. Animal lover Ricky Gervais, actress Debra Messing, Charmed alum Alyssa Milano, supermodel Christie Brinkley, and more stars have rallied in memory of Cecil the Lion.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) July 28, 2015
This asshole. Why would anyone want to kill a lion for fun? What is wrong with people?
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) July 28, 2015
RIP Cecil I am heartbroken because it was a human ,and an American no less, who in a senseless act… https://t.co/a1K2ebHp3K
— Christie Brinkley (@seabrinkley) July 29, 2015
Meanwhile, Palmer also addressed the killing in a statement on Tuesday.
"In early July, I was in Zimbabwe on a bow hunting trip for big game. I hired several professional guides and they secured all proper permits. To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted,” he told local Minneapolis outlet KARE11. “I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt. I have not been contacted by authorities in Zimbabwe or in the U.S. about this situation, but will assist them in any inquiries they may have. Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion."
Watch Kimmel's full monologue above.
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!