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Norman Lear sitting right across from Jimmy Kimmel during the special “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” in 2019.
An emotional Jimmy Kimmel paid tribute to late producer Norman Lear at the helm of his ABC show Wednesday night, calling him “one of the most important and influential people I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting.”
Kimmel joined the producer, who died Tuesday at his home at the age of 101, on the ABC special “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” to praise Lear, calling him “a genius who created some great things for us.” Television shows and characters of all time.” He listed several of them, such as “All in the Family” and “Maude”, and said, “It’s an incredible list, and he was an incredible guy. He changed the state of comedy in the best way.”
Kimmel continued, “Everyone who works in television or even watches television owes him a huge debt,” adding, “101 years, and somehow it wasn’t enough.”
After reading an amusing thank you card sent by Lear, the host said that Lear did not like saying goodbye but rather “to be carried on”, so he concluded by simply saying, “To be carried on.” “Jimmy Kimmel Live” proceeded with an on-screen disclaimer before the show, which mirrored one CBS displayed before the first episode of “All in the Family” in 1971 – a brief about how the audience would react.
Kimmel appeared with Lear on “Live in Front of a Studio Audience”, in which actors performed live versions of episodes of Lear’s classic sitcoms, including “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons”.
Lear became the oldest person to win or be nominated for an Emmy at the age of 98 for producing the special with Kimmel.
After the news of the producer’s demise, there was a steady stream of people paying tribute to him throughout the day. All broadcast networks aired a memorial card honoring Lear to kick off their primetime lineups on Wednesday nights, featuring his photo and simply reading, “Thank you for making us all family.”
Separately, Lear’s widow, Lynn Lear, sent a message to the Sentinel Awards, a program honoring TV writers whose work touches on important issues. The awards are presented by Hollywood, Health & Society, which is based at the Norman Lear Center, a research center that Lear endowed at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California.
Lear was proud of the center, Lynn Lear wrote, “and he didn’t want us all to mourn. He would want us to celebrate the important shows you’re honoring tonight, and most of all, he wants us to laugh.
In a 2020 interview, Lear said that he never considered his shows to be “edgy” despite the groundbreaking aspects of them, saying, “We were just dealing with problems that existed in our culture.”