SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Jimmy Kimmel apologized for his blackface impressions of several Black celebrities during his career. In the 1990s, the host of Jimmy Kimmel Live portrayed Snoop Dogg, Oprah, and Utah Jazz Hall of Fame forward Karl Malone. The sketches appeared on the radio or Comedy Central throughout the 1990s.
Kimmel apologized after the sketches were brought to light by Fox News host Sean Hannity. The two hosts have an ongoing feud that dates back several years.
Kimmel apologized “to those who were genuinely hurt or offended by the makeup” he wore. However, he didn’t directly address Malone. As of Wednesday, the Jazz legend hasn’t responded to Kimmel’s apology.
Despite Kimmel’s off-color portrayals, the two celebrities appear to have a cordial relationship. Malone drew praise for his defiant cameo during Kimmel’s Mean Tweets segment. The retired Jazz star also made regular appearances on Kimmel’s Game Night specials that aired after the 2018 NBA Finals.
Malone appeared in five segments of All Alone With Karl Malone on the Kimmel NBA specials. The pair discussed animals, the “Mailman” nickname, existential hypotheticals, and food options. Kimmel’s quick wit served as a foil to Malone’s often non-linear proclamations about life.
When discussing Malone’s nickname, the TV host asked the NBA legend if he felt a kinship with the average postal delivery worker. Malone quickly redirected the conversation into a rant about the financial losses of the postal service, while questioning the accuracy of news media. After volunteering to help the Post Master General, Malone questioned why the organization regularly replaced aging mail trucks.
In another appearance, Malone and Kimmel debate the forward’s favorite cereal brands.
Malone listed Honey Smacks, which he misnamed after the amphibious mascot Dig ‘Em, followed by Frosted Flakes with bananas and whole milk, (Malone was offended by Kimmel’s skim milk suggested), and Corn Pops. However, if classic Malone fashion, the 14-time All-Star reverses course and replaces “the little frog guy” with Raisin Bran.
Despite appearances on Kimmel’s specials, Malone has receded from the public spotlight. Malone was thrown back into the spotlight during ESPN’s “The Last Dance” documentary. The 10 part series covered the 1998 Chicago Bulls and their matchup with the Jazz in the Finals.
Malone’s past indiscretions, including a paternity lawsuit seeking child support for a child Malone fathered with a 13-year-old, have brought increasing scorn.
Malone’s son, Karl Jr. addressed his father’s statutory rape case when the Hall of Famer was in college.
“I’m probably going to get a lot of backfire for this,” K.J. said. “My mom is probably going to get mad at me. But at the end of the day, I’m doing this for my family. Just standing up for my dad.”
“He made a mistake, but at the end of the day, he’s still a great dad,” K.J. continued. “He still takes care of Demetress. Demetress is my brother, I love him to death.”
Demetress, now 36-years-old makes frequent appearances on Malone family social media posts.