Back in February, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel hosted the televised memorial of basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna at the Staples Center. Many tears were shed, from Michael Jordan, and Vanessa Bryant, and Kimmel, who spoke about the experience on a recent episode of Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live.
When asked by Cohen how nervous he felt, Kimmel replied, “Very,” adding, “I guess I wasn’t really fully paying attention, but I didn’t know it was going to be a televised event. I thought it was a somewhat intimate family and fans thing.” Kimmel also spoke about the “saddest part” of the memorial. “The saddest part was seeing the family just sitting in the front row. That’s a killer, looking at those kids, Vanessa and Kobe’s parents,” he said. “To just realize as sad as this is for all of us, this is a million times worse for them.”
Bryant, who was one of nine people killed in a helicopter crash in southern California on January 26, was a frequent guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. “I know this might not make sense, but he was just the last person you could have ever imagined something like this happening to,” an emotional Kimmel said during the first episode after Kobe’s death. “He was so strong and handsome and smart and energetic — he was a hero.”
Watch Kimmel’s Watch What Happens Live appearance below.