One of Jimmy Kimmel's best friends is coming to his aid amid a scandal surrounding his past use of blackface for impressions.
Adam Carolla, who co-hosted Comedy Central's "The Man Show" with Jimmy from 1999 to 2004, said the late-night host is "in my top three of all-time decent people I've ever met in my life."
Jimmy has been under fire recently after his imitations of Black celebrities resurfaced — most notably, his impression of NBA Hall of Famer Karl Malone.
On his daily podcast, "The Adam Corolla Show," Adam defended his friend.
"I was saying this years ago and I meant it. Blackface is something. Doing Karl Malone is something else or doing Oprah is something else. … That is not blackface," the former "Loveline" host said, adding that comedians are supposed to push boundaries. "Could we remove the jewelers' loupe and the spotlight from comedians? Politicians, OK, they're making policy … even coaches or moms or dads, fine. Comedians are there to push things."
Of Jimmy, Adam added, "He is the most generous person you've ever met. If everyone was like Jimmy Kimmel, we'd be living in a f—— utopia."
As the blackface controversy grew, Jimmy issued an apology.
"I have long been reluctant to address this, as I knew doing so would be celebrated as a victory by those who equate apologies with weakness and cheer for leaders who use prejudice to divide us. That delay was a mistake," he said.
Speaking specifically of the Karl Malone impressions he did in the '90s, Jimmy said, "I never considered that this might be seen as anything other than an imitation of a fellow human being."
"In each case, I thought of them as impersonations of celebrities and nothing more. Looking back, many of these sketches are embarrassing, and it is frustrating that these thoughtless moments have become a weapon used by some to diminish my criticisms of social and other injustices," he continued.
The late night host said he's matured since he did those impressions.
"I know that this will not be the last I hear of this and that it will be used again to try to quiet me. I love this country too much to allow that," he said. "I won't be bullied into silence by those who feign outrage to advance their oppressive and genuinely racist agendas."