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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Media > JImmy Kimmel Crosses the Border of Good Taste

JImmy Kimmel Crosses the Border of Good Taste

LatinaLista — Excuse me if I don’t laugh at the latest comic who thinks it’s hilarious that Ken Burns is including Latinos in his PBS documentary about WWII called “The War.”

A monologue joke is one thing, sarcastic comedy falls into another category but ridicule being passed off as humor is a sad excuse any day for ignorance.


The latest comic to join the bandwagon of easy laughs is the latenight ABC host Jimmy Kimmel.

ABC host Jimmy Kimmel
(Source: ABC)
I guess Jimmy couldn’t think of any jokes that were funny enough so he and his team got creative and decided to create a video that would spoof Burns’ The War doc – on how it would look with the inclusion of Latinos.
Somehow, the humor already escapes me that Latinos fighting and dying alongside their WWII comrades would be something to make fun of, but I suppose that’s what happens when there is little comedic talent in the room.
The video
mixes actual war footage with animated and photoshopped pictures that not only insult the not-so-distant memories of our Latino men who fought in that war but reduces their presence and deaths to something trivial, inconsequential and to be laughted at.
When was the last time there was a comedy spoof on any soldier company from Vietnam or the Gulf War?
The only comedy show that I can remember that looked at war through a comedic lens was MASH. But the writers of that show turned a forgotten war memorable and funny by showcasing the absurdness of war itself – not poking fun at the people who fought it.
A video that shows serious war footage then in the next frame has Speedy Gonzalez dodging bullets may be funny to those who still like their Saturday morning cartoons, but it isn’t funny to a graying group of men and women who have fought hard all their lives for respect, only to reach their golden years and find they have to start the battle all over again — just because they have become the butt of jokes from people privileged to have their own national shows but not talented enough to come up with a funny sketch.
Are we being too thin-skinned about all this? Should we just grin and take these so-called jokes in the spirit that they are being given?
I wonder what is the spirit?
It’s not to make any of us feel good.
How can it be to make us laugh at ourselves when Latinos are portrayed as cartoons or silly?
In one other scene in the video, the famous picture of soldiers raising the flag at Iwo Jima is doctored to show men wearing sombreros and raising a pinata instead.
This video isn’t just insulting to Latinos but all WWII veterans and those of us who treasure the heroic sacrifices that these men and women made, Latino or not.
According to the Defend the Honor organization, the National Hispanic Media Coalition plans on addressing Kimmel and ABC for an explanation as to why this is so funny in their eyes.
I think it’s also time for advertisers to be asked why they continue endorsing such low humor at the expense of the dignity of a good part of their target demographic.
A demographic whose buying power is projected to reach $992 billion in only 2 years.
There’s nothing funny about that!

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Comment(9)

  • sir jorge
    May 24, 2007 at 11:49 am

    That was a stupid joke, and can’t believe he got away with it.

  • PepeG
    May 28, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    sad, sad ,sad and this comming from…sorry… a Jew ( kimmel is jewish-american)….

  • tom guerin
    May 29, 2007 at 11:10 pm

    I resent the Jimmy Kimmel cartoon. He should get the same treatment as Don Imus.Jokes of this nature are not exceptable.I am tired of people thinking that all latinos just crossed the border yesterday.This also includes Burns on his WW2 tv special. My father,uncle and several other thousands latinos served.WE HAVE NO STRONG VOICE!

  • tom guerin
    May 29, 2007 at 11:10 pm

    I resent the Jimmy Kimmel cartoon. He should get the same treatment as Don Imus.Jokes of this nature are not exceptable.I am tired of people thinking that all latinos just crossed the border yesterday.This also includes Burns on his WW2 tv special. My father,uncle and several other thousands latinos served.WE HAVE NO STRONG VOICE!

  • tom guerin
    May 29, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    I resent the Jimmy Kimmel cartoon. He should get the same treatment as Don Imus.Jokes of this nature are not exceptable.I am tired of people thinking that all latinos just crossed the border yesterday.This also includes Burns on his WW2 tv special. My father,uncle and several other thousands latinos served.WE HAVE NO STRONG VOICE!

  • tom guerin
    May 29, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    I resent the Jimmy Kimmel cartoon. He should get the same treatment as Don Imus.Jokes of this nature are not exceptable.I am tired of people thinking that all latinos just crossed the border yesterday.This also includes Burns on his WW2 tv special. My father,uncle and several other thousands latinos served.WE HAVE NO STRONG VOICE!

  • Pobrecito
    June 3, 2007 at 10:52 am

    So Latino jokes are off limits? If you want equality that means being made fun of as well. For four years now we’ve heard/seen jokes about soldiers of all races so stop being so sensitive.
    And to then pull an Al Sharpton response and give the “Don Imus treatment” is absurd.
    I suppose you want an apology? Better yet stifle free speech and have JK removed from the air…either way it’s time to relaje and stop sweating the small stuff. In 20 years latinos will be a majority (unless Muslims catch up as fast as they are in Europe).
    Show some juevo’s and stop whining about a joke.

  • nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez
    June 5, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    hey pobrecito, qué es esto un “juevo”?
    but you are right. don’t sweat the small stuff. like your reasoning. purely small stuff.

  • JLP
    June 6, 2007 at 3:24 am

    Along these lines, the way in which the show portrays Guillermo is extremely stereotypical. He is like a puppet that plays into every Mexican immigrant stereotype. How can Latinos break these stereotypes when they are being perpetuated as the butt of all of Kimmels jokes in a presumably white middle-to-upper class audience?

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