George Clooney reminds Jimmy Kimmel he had Bell's palsy as host roasts his childhood photos

George Clooney stuck up for his younger self during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night — and saved the host from what might have been a very awkward roast in the process.

On Thursday, Clooney joined Jimmy Kimmel for the 20th-anniversary episode of his talk show. It was a full circle moment, as Clooney was Kimmel's first guest all the way back in 2003. And in the spirit of celebrating the past, Kimmel treated his audience to a look at some of Clooney's awkward teenage photos, first pulling out a picture featuring a bowl-cut haircut and glasses.

"I want to point out that my mother cut my hair," Clooney joked, as Kimmel then switched to a photo of teenage Clooney with longer hair. But before Kimmel could say anything, Clooney cut him off, reminding the host of a medical diagnosis he's previously spoken about.

"Now wait, I want to point out something because you're going to laugh, going to make a joke," Clooney said. "I have Bell's palsy there, and half of my face is paralyzed."

Then, using his hand to cover half his face in the photograph, Clooney continued, "Look at this, watch this. If you go like this, on the other side, it's a completely different face. So now make your joke. Come on, funny man. Come on, let me give you my sad face."

Kimmel ran with it, though, retorting, "You know what? I didn't have a joke, George, and you really brought everybody down." Then, he suggested a toast alongside his other guest for the night, Snoop Dogg, to bring the mood back up, and the trio took a shot together.

20th Anniversary Show - George Clooney on Being Jimmy’s First Guest Ever & Pranking Celebrities
20th Anniversary Show - George Clooney on Being Jimmy’s First Guest Ever & Pranking Celebrities


Clooney has spoken about his teenage bout with Bell's palsy before, including on a 2006 segment of Larry King Live. The typically temporary condition causes weakness and paralysis in one side of the face. Clooney previously stated that his case lasted for about nine months during his first year of high school.

Previously, he told King that he first noticed symptoms after watching The Pride of the Yankees, which ends with Lou Gehrig's retirement from baseball due to ALS (then known more commonly as Lou Gehrig's disease)

"[Gary Cooper] is trying to pick up a bat, and it falls out of his hand. And the next day, we were sitting in church, and I was in the back of the pew, and my tongue was numb. And then we would always go out to dinner, go up to Frisch's Big Boy, which is, you know, that's where everybody went for lunch after church, after mass," Clooney told King. "And I was drinking, and milk was pouring out of my mouth. And I thought, 'Oh, my God, I have Lou Gehrig's disease.' Because you know, I wasn't the brightest kid, and eventually, your eye and everything gets paralyzed."

Of course, Clooney recovered just fine, going on to score multiple Oscars and People's "Sexiest Man Alive" covers.

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