The late comedian and actor Fred Willard made many appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live! over the years, so it was only fitting that Kimmel devoted time during last night’s episode to remembering him and his comedy. In perhaps the sweetest moment from the episode, Kimmel shares a story about going to Willard’s house to film a segment for his show, but Willard was “uncharacteristically down” because his wife threw away their Christmas tree — and it was June. Thankfully, Kimmel and his team managed to find a new Christmas tree for Willard, which turned his attitude around immediately. “In a lot of ways, Fred Willard was like a Christmas tree in June,” Kimmel said. “A little weird, familiar but still surprising to see it, full of good memories, and you’re just instantly happy that it’s there.”
In another segment, Kimmel reached out to many of Willard’s comedy collaborators over the years including Christopher Guest, Martin Mull, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Norman Lear, and Ray Romano to share some of their favorite memories of working with the late performer. The clip also ends with an old Kimmel bit where Willard has written cue cards for Kimmel announcing his own death, calling himself “a true humanitarian.” “Fred, when you die for real, can you write more clearly?” Kimmel asks. “Is my penmanship not good?” Willard replies. “I’m sorry about that!” If you needed any more proof that Willard was a hard-working and brilliantly hilarious guy right up until the end, just watch these Kimmel clips.