Give Jimmy Kimmel some credit. He isn’t good looking. He isn’t terribly smart. Aside from being mildly amusing, he doesn’t have any obvious talent. And yet, here he is, the host of his own late-night talk show, and he doesn’t shy away from the hard questions when Kimbo Slice drops by for a chat.
What’s most interesting about this video might be the fact that Slice seems to be completely devoid of a sense of humor about himself. He can’t roll with any of Kimmel’s jokes at his expense, he takes far too seriously a comparison between himself and Mr. T and Jeffrey from “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, and he generally sucks all the life out of the room in this interview.
Why is it that this is so typical for MMA fighters? Why can’t Slice at least come up with something clever when Kimmel asks him if he’s ever been romantically involved with another man? Instead, he takes the question as if it is an affront to his manhood, as if Kimmel is really trying to get him to talk openly about his sexuality.
Here’s my theory, which I’ve come upon after many not-so-fun interviews with MMA fighters: possessing the innate ability to get in a ring and fight for money cancels out the gene for detecting irony and sarcasm.
It’s kind of like how certain diseases are actually the result of immunity to other diseases. You know, like the relationship between sickle-cell anemia and malaria resistance? Pro fighters have been given a gift. They don’t share the normal man’s fear of (or at least aversion to) getting punched in the face, but they also aren’t big on self-deprecating humor.
It’s a tradeoff, sure, and probably an unavoidable one. It’s just a shame that it makes them no fun on late-night talk shows. Kimbo Slice, of all people, is supposed to be Mr. Personality. That’s why he’s only 2-0 and still making appearances on network TV. Personality is probably what Elite XC promised the producers from the Jimmy Kimmel show, who were most likely dismayed and concerned for their host during these uncomfortable few minutes.
For his sake, I sure hope Kimbo turns out to be the legitimate fighter that Elite XC says he is. He certainly doesn’t have a future in non-violence-related entertainment, except perhaps as the most terrifying straight man ever.