(By Randy Lane) Recently, Jimmy Kimmel took his audience on a captivating personal journey of the birth of his son, Billy, and Billy’s emergency heart surgery.
At the beginning of his monologue, Jimmy grabbed the viewer’s attention by sharing that he was going to reveal a scary story, but not to worry, it had a happy ending. Jimmy shared the joy of his son’s birth and the heart-wrenching story of his open-heart surgery. As he spoke, his voice quivered, and he wiped away tears.
Jimmy painted a colorful picture of the medical procedures by including sensory details like the color of his baby’s body being too purple. He managed to weave humor throughout his 13-minute-plus monologue, “Even that son-of-a-bitch Matt Damon sent flowers.” He showed first pictures of Billy and the family. Some were precious, and some were comical.
Jimmy kindly thanked, by name, all the nurses and doctors who helped his son and family through the entire ordeal. He expressed gracious gratitude to his wife, family, and friends who supported them as well.
Near the end, Jimmy was courageous enough to emotionally disclose his point-of-view on a highly controversial political subject — health care. He started by applauding congress for over-riding the presidents proposed cut to the National Institute of Health which aids many under privileged children in situations like his own.
He closed with a potent and emotional appeal to viewers by saying, “We can’t let their partisan squabbles divide us. No parent should ever be denied if they can’t afford to save their child’s life.” Jimmy Kimmel’s powerful personal story could impact health care legislation.
While some people think that Jimmy politicized his baby’s birth, most people agree that his personal story made a huge and positive impact.
We urge you to watch this video, share it with your team, and then watch it again. Jimmy told this most personal of stories from his heart with raw emotion, AND he took a strong stand that deepened his personal brand.
Crisis situations are one way to express vulnerability. We coach talent to divulge a wide range of emotions, including self-deprecation, regrets, and joy.
Jimmy Kimmel’s personal story demonstrated the power of vulnerability and authenticity.