Jimmy Kimmel breaks down on live TV over the killing of Cecil the lion

Talk show host also compared the controversy to that surrounding Bill Cosby

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Jimmy Kimmel choked up on live TV during a segment condemning the killing of Cecil the lion by a US hunter.

Comparing the public anger directed at Mr Cosby with that now aimed at Mr Palmer during his skit on Tuesday night, the US comedian and talk show host questioned the dentist’s motivation for hunting.

He asked: “Is it that difficult for you to get an erection that you need to kill things?”

Zimbabwean authorities claim Walter Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota, paid £35,000 ($55,000) to local guides in order to shoot 13-year-old Cecil the lion with a crossbow.

Mr Kimmel went on to say that if Mr Palmer took Viagra rather than shooting animals he could “save himself from being the most hated man in American who never advertised Jell-o pudding” – a reference to Mr Cosby, who advertised the product in the 1970s.

You can watch the full speech here:


The comedian then showed his audience a list of the animals Mr Palmer has killed, including another lion, a bear, a leopard and a rhino. “This guy killed like half of Noah’s Ark,” he comments.

Towards the end, Kimmel chokes up, before quickly gathering himself and continuing with the rest of the segment.


Mr Palmer – who is married with two children – has faced a furious social media backlash.

On Wednesday morning the dentist, who has been forced to shut his practise and go into hiding, issued a statement in which he said he regretted shooting Cecil the lion.

Cecil, known for his distinctive black mane, was a popular tourist attraction within the national park. Mr Palmer and local guides tempted the lion out of the national park with bait, before shooting him first with a crossbow and then – some 40 hours afterwards – finally killing him with a shotgun.

Part of an Oxford University tracking programme, researchers were able to track down Cecil’s corpse and piece together the chain of events. Zimbabwean authorities have confirmed that anyone convicted of involvement in an illegal hunt could face up to 10 years in prison.