BROOKLYN, New York - The home of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" may be in Hollywood, but the host remains just as close to his relatives in Brooklyn as The Brooklyn Academy of Music is to his childhood home in Mill Basin.
This native son moved away to Las Vegas when he was just 9 years old, but it's clear that a part of him never left.
"People are laughier and tougher than they are in other places," Jimmy said during final preparations for five night's worth of shows. "So you really couldn't find a better place to do a show than in Brooklyn."
His first visit back with his show came after Superstorm Sandy five years ago, when as he told the crowd, "More than eight million people lost power" the night before his first show. That was when I first noticed Jimmy's uncanny ability to set aside wisecracks and speak from the heart, while never straying too far away from his trademark humor.
It is a trait that has recently put him at the center of the national debate over several hot-button issues: health care and gun control.
WEB EXTRA: Jimmy Kimmel talks about Brooklyn, David Letterman and recent monologues
Web extra: Extended interview with Jimmy Kimmel in Brooklyn
"It's not something I enjoy," he said. "It's not something I want to happen regularly, but I did feel I had no choice but to speak about my son's heart surgery, obviously, and what happened in Las Vegas."
At the end of a monologue on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" following the massacre in Las Vegas, the host apologized to his audience for getting emotional, adding, "I'm not great with this kind of thing."
Kimmel has admitted to being "a crier" when he was a kid, and he said he has trouble speaking at funerals and weddings without shedding a few tears.
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Always candid, Jimmy added, "To be honest, it's embarrassing to me. Like I see a news story, and I'm crying on TV. I race to turn the television off!"
But after telling us how his infant son's need for emergency surgery got him thinking about health care, a columnist wrote in The New York Times, "Mr. Kimmel's voice rang louder in the hubbub over health care than any politician's or any other comedian's."
"I think it's because I'm a comedian and because people have come to expect a certain thing from me," he said. "And when you give them something different, and when you are serious, I think it kind of packs a wallop."
He's putting his serious side to the side for now, in favor of laughs with the likes of Amy Schumer and Howard Stern and with music from Billy Joel. On Tuesday night's show, the man who inspired Jimmy as a child and as a young adult -- David Letterman -- will make his first late-night talk show appearance since retiring.