Ellen DeGeneres is famous for ending her talk show by telling her viewers to be kind to one another. And the generous host definitely lived her go-to message by example this week. When Jimmy Kimmel stopped by the show ahead of hosting the Oscars this weekend, DeGeneres surprised him with an unexpected tribute to his young son, Billy: a hospital room dedicated in his name.
Billy made headlines soon after his birth last year when a scary heart condition and two required surgeries prompted Jimmy Kimmel to make an emotional plea about the importance of affordable healthcare on Jimmy Kimmel Live! He, understandably, got emotional again on The Ellen DeGeneres Show when DeGeneres revealed a room at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles’ Heart Institute floor would now forever be known as the Billy Kimmel Room. The show then cut to live footage of staff at the hospital, including one of Billy’s surgeons, standing in front of the room and its newly-minted nameplate AND DeGeneres pointed out that a group of Billy’s nurses was also in the audience.
Let’s just say, the kind gesture didn’t make Jimmy Kimmel *less* teary-eyed.
Though he’s faced totally bogus criticism for wearing his heart on his sleeve in the past, Kimmel has been vocal about his tendency to get choked up. “I’m a crier, I do cry, I’ve been known to cry,” he told DeGeneres, along with a story from his days as an Arizona DJ in college when a death in a groom’s family upset Kimmel so much it prompted guests to comfort him. “You get very emotional and I love that about you,” DeGeneres told him.
Not everyone has felt the same way in the past. After Kimmel cried during his Live! monologue in the wake of the horrific concert shooting in his hometown of Las Vegas in October, for example, someone plastered L.A. benches with mocking ads featuring an image of Kimmel’s tears for the Jimmy Kimmel Estrogen Hour because, apparently and horrifyingly, getting visibly upset over the murder of 59 people is something worth making fun of to some people; and associating a man with female hormones is an insult to those same people.
But Jimmy Kimmel hasn’t let it get to him.
Thankfully, he continues to give a voice to emotional experiences we’re all going through in the news and his own relatable personal experiences alike. And with Billy’s first birthday approaching, we’re hoping the only emotions Kimmel and his family will be facing from here on out will be positive ones.
DeGeneres, who’s good friends with Kimmel off-air as well, had previously raised $1 million for the hospital treating Billy after Kimmel first went public with his family’s ordeal. On this particular show, she told viewers she aims to raise $1 million more. Cue the happy tears.