Tears replaced laughs on the comedy scene Monday as TV hosts delivered touching tributes to Kobe Bryant, who died Sunday in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others.
Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Ellen DeGeneres struggled to keep it together while lamenting life’s fragility and recounting some of their fondest memories with the Laker legend. James Corden and Conan O’Brien were also among those who honored Bryant with reflective words and, in some cases, highlight reels of his past guest appearances.
“Tonight’s show is going to be different from our usual show,” Kimmel began his “Jimmy Kimmel Live” monologue. “We don’t have a studio audience here tonight because going forward with a comedy show didn’t feel right, considering what happened yesterday…. That was a punch in the gut for many of us. Kobe was — and I know this might not make sense, but — he was just the last person you could ever imagine something like this happening to.”