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About (Late) Last Night: Clint Eastwood won't crack on 'Kimmel'

October 22, 2010 |  6:19 am

On Thursday night's episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live," the host made a confession to Clint Eastwood about what an inspiration the actor had been to little Jimmy. After announcing the 80-year-old actor and five-time Oscar winner as "probably the coolest guy in the world," Kimmel took us back to 1978, when he was an impressionable child. (Eastwood was 48.)

After seeing Eastwood's "Every Which Way But Loose," Kimmel said, he decided he wanted to "travel around the country, fighting guys with an orangutan in my truck." Eastwood sat stoically. If you looked closely, you could see him nod.

And it went on like that -- the old man and the giddy boy -- the two never quite clicking.

"I wound up just joining the high school band instead," Kimmel admitted. Eastwood, as it turns out, had his own adolescent musical experiences. "In junior high school, I played flugelhorn," said Eastwood, before explaining, with historical context, his switch to piano in order to impress girls. Kimmel was aghast that his idol would need any help at all.

"I imagine you losing your virginity at like 6 years old," said Kimmel. "Not quite," Eastwood said staidly.

It's difficult to tell whether Eastwood's cultivation of the grizzled veteran character, gruff and unflinching, is just a pose, not unlike Kimmel's slapstick-y late-night host. Maybe the pair get on famously. But last night, the generation gap looked like an insurmountable abyss, with Kimmel chuckling himself off the ledge and Eastwood standing, arms folded, unconcerned on the other side.

-- Joe Coscarelli