What does it take to make Jimmy Kimmel cry? The death of Cecil the Lion, apparently.
On Tuesday, the comedian lashed out at Walter Palmer, the formerly anonymous Minnesota dentist who became the scourge of the Internet for his reported role in the poaching of Cecil, a much-beloved lion and major tourist draw at Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.
After recounting the brutal, protracted and apparently illegal process by which Cecil was stalked and killed, Kimmel wondered what would compel a human to shoot a lion in the first place.
“Is it that difficult for you to get an erection that you need to kill things?” he said, suggesting that if that’s the case, Palmer would be better off taking a pill and staying at home. Instead, Kimmel quipped, he’s become “the most-hated man in America who never advertised Jell-O pudding on television.”
But unlike the torch-wielding Internet commenters calling for Palmer’s head, Kimmel tried to encourage a more positive response to Cecil’s death.
“I think it’s important to have some good come out of this disgusting tragedy,” he said, directing viewers to the website for the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford University, the organization that had been tracking Cecil before his death.
“If you want to make this into a positive, make a donation to support them,” Kimmel said. “Maybe we can show the world that not all Americans are like” Palmer.
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