Jimmy Kimmel’s Head Writer/Wife On The Inspiration Behind Mean Tweets And Which Celebs Wanted Meaner Ones

Editorial Director
06.18.14 20 Comments


Jimmy Kimmel’s “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” segment is so popular we have an entire topic page dedicated to it. The success is really the ultimate testament to self-deprecation being the quickest path to endearment. So when EW recently interviewed the person behind the idea, Kimmel’s co-head writer Molly McNearney (also his wife), there were of course several interesting takeaways, like where the inspiration came from and who wanted meaner.

First McNearney on the inspiration:

Almost two years ago, Jimmy was reading some terrible things people were writing to him on Twitter. He was reading them and he was like, “Oh man, people are awful!” He was reading them to me and the thought occurred to me: “We should have everyone do this.” In fact, my friend Kelly Oxford, who is very popular on Twitter, was at the house and she started reading hers back and forth, and the two of them were reading these awful things people had said. And I think they kind of took comfort in knowing, “Oh, I’m not the only one that people are awful to.” So I wanted to provide that to all the celebrities on Twitter. I think it’s kind of therapeutic for them to realize that they’re not alone. Also, I think it really illustrates how mean and cowardly and toxic people are online. I mean, every comment section is a danger zone.

Truest words, sister. So what about those masochistic celebrities who want MEANER?

I put the harshest ones at the top and the more gentle ones at the bottom, some celebrities are really comfortable reading the harsh ones. In fact, some guests ask, “Can we please get another round? These aren’t mean enough.”

Cate Blanchett actually wanted meaner. Julia Louis-Dreyfus wanted meaner. Julia Louis-Dreyfus was incredible. Usually we narrow it down to three to five that they read. They’ll read them and then we pick which one we think plays the best.

Oh wow. They must be sitting on multiple deleted segments just in case Colbert’s Late Show starts cutting into their ratings down the road. Speaking of JLD being the best, here’s a reminder that she’s a pantheon reader of mean tweets (1:57 mark).

Lastly, Emma Stone is awesome, right?

The majority of them have seen the bit. They know it. They like it. We now have guests who are asking for it. Emma Stone, when we booked her, said, “I want to read as many mean tweets as you can find about me.” And she read a bunch.

Yup. Check out the full interview here and then come back and appreciate how good Ethan Hawke is in the latest installment.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

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