Late night host Jimmy Kimmel escalated his latest spat with Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz.
The pair have frequently gone at it in the past, but their most recent feud is over Kimmel’s comments about Cruz’s fourth book, “Unwoke: How to Defeat Cultural Marxism in America,” which was published earlier this week.
“You know, he’s so cool,” the comedian said about Cruz on his ABC show on Tuesday night.
“You can tell it’s Ted’s book because the dust jacket doesn’t quite fit, it won’t button in the front.”
Slimy Ted Cruz has a new book! pic.twitter.com/FPfdnsekLX
— Jimmy Kimmel Live (@JimmyKimmelLive) November 8, 2023
He listed fake titles of Cruz’s other books, including “Ted Cruz: Head Ooze,” “Glued Pubes: The Guide For Guys Who Can’t Grow A Beard,” and finally “A Partially Digested Rat And Other Things I Found In My Chin Pouch.”
Kimmel also reacted to an excerpt from Cruz’s actual book, which asserted that “late-night TV is virtually unwatchable.”
Though the conservative politician noted that he loves comedy, he said that “watching angry leftists scream about how much they hate Donald Trump isn’t remotely funny, it’s pitiful.”
Kimmel shot back that it was an “honor to be called pitiful by a man who abandoned his dog in an ice storm to go to Mexico,” he said in reference to Cruz’s trip to Cancun during the 2021 Great Texas Freeze.
Kimmel got in one final jab before ending the segment. “Writing a book like this is a huge accomplishment, especially for him,” he teed up. “You know, it’s very difficult to type with hooves.”
Cruz addressed Kimmel’s comedy set on his podcast “Verdict,” where he detailed how he publicly responded to the clip when Kimmel’s show posted it on social media along with the caption, “Slimy Ted Cruz has a new book!”
— Jimmy Kimmel Live (@JimmyKimmelLive) November 10, 2023
“I mean, when he did that last night, I actually tweeted his monologue out this morning and I said, ‘Hey, thanks for pitching my book. You forgot the link to where you can buy it,’” Cruz pointed out.
“What he read there was an actual excerpt from the book and he put up the book cover, and I think that’s fabulous,” he added.
Cruz also noted how late-night television is merely “a partisan primal scream,” rather than good comedy, because the liberal hosts only target conservatives rather than their political counterparts.
“I’m perfectly fine with making fun of me, but they never ever make fun of the Democrats. It’s purely ‘I am leftist; hear me roar,’” he continued.
“But I do wish, the substantive point that late-night humor I wish was actually funny. I love comedy. I grew up watching ‘SNL.’ I like real comedians who are funny, and they used to be funny.”
Kimmel clearly wasn’t thrilled with the senator’s rebuttal, and used his show antagonize Cruz by doing a skit about drag queen story hour with his book a day later.
Kimmel invited popular drag queen Trixie Mattel, known for her appearances on RuPaul’s Drag Race, to read excerpts from the book to a group of young children on Wednesday night.
In the segment, Mattel, dressed in a vibrant hot pink jumper and sporting blonde hair, entered a classroom filled with curious youngsters who initially appeared uncertain about their unorthodox host.
However, as conversation and engagement unfolded, it became clear that the children were not swayed by Senator Cruz’s perspective.
The chosen passage dealt with Cruz’s critique of the live-action adaptation of “The Little Mermaid” and his dismay with the reboot.
Cruz expressed his belief that defenders of the movie accused the public of racism when it received criticism.
As Mattel read aloud Cruz’s words, the children offered their differing opinions.
One young boy interjected that both the original and the new version of The Little Mermaid were good films.
When Mattel asked if both movies could be considered good, the children enthusiastically agreed.
The same young boy vocalized his perception of Cruz’s book, proclaiming it to be boring.
When Mattel suggested skipping pages, the boy insisted on skipping the entire book, as he was clearly uninterested.
At the end of the clip, the drag queen gave each child a copy of the book and told them to do whatever they wanted with it.
Every one of the children dumped “Unwoke” into the garbage on their way out of the door.
Awesome! @JimmyKimmelLive bought at least NINE copies of my new book!
And he aired yet another promo for the book (with fake text from the book with Jimmy having odd & creepy fantasies about my nipples).
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 10, 2023
Cruz commented on the “Jimmy Kimmel Live’s” X, formerly Twitter, post of the segment.
He said that it was “awesome,” that Kimmel’s show purchased a minimum of nine copies of his new book.
“And he aired yet another promo for the book (with fake text from the book with Jimmy having odd & creepy fantasies about my nipples),” Cruz added.