Viral Comedian Ariel Elias Performs on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’

Sometimes all you need to do to make your late-night-television debut is ask. Well, first you need to be a comedian, withstand a politically motivated assault while onstage at a comedy club, handle it with poise, have a video of the incident go viral on Twitter and attract the attention of a late-night host, and then love. But if you can replicate that formula, you should be good to go. (Note to comedians: Please do not try to replicate this formula.)

This is the experience of New York–based comedian Ariel Elias, who made her first late-night appearance on Jimmy KimmelLive on October 24 after a clip of hers went viral earlier this month in which she chugged a beer can that had been thrown at her by a Trump-supporting heckler while performing onstage at Uncle Vinnie’s Comedy Club in New Jersey. Kimmel reached out on Twitter to praise Elias’s handling of the situation on October 9 (“five stars for this flawless performance”), prompting Elias to tweet back, “Can I make my late night debut on your show?” and him to reply, “definitely.”

In the set, Elias doesn’t discuss being pelted by beer for MAGA reasons but covers a range of topics like growing up Jewish in Kentucky, the toxic thoughts caused by body dysmorphia (“I got food poisoning one time, and my first thought when I got food poisoning was, I can’t wait to weigh myself”), and the unpopularity of saying you want to have children in 2022. “You ever ask a millennial if they want to have kids and they get mad at you?” she asks. “They’re like, ‘No. I couldn’t possibly bring a child into this world of suffering.’ But, like, I think kids should suffer. I’m very Jewish.” Elias, who was chosen as one of 2021’s Just for Laughs New Faces, was ready for this opportunity.

This set follows the recent news that Kimmel is set to reopen his Las Vegas comedy club, Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club, to the public on November 3 for the first time since the pandemic. The farm-to-table pipeline of viral comedy clips to late-night debuts on his show may be even shorter then.

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