Watch: Jimmy Kimmel Guest Host Billy Eichner Drags Lindsey Graham, Welcomes Election Opponent

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday July 9, 2020

Billy Eichner on "Jimmy Kimmel Live"
Billy Eichner on "Jimmy Kimmel Live"  (Source:Screen cap / YouTube / Jimmy Kimmel Live)

Out actor and comedian Billy Eichner - known for his "Billy on the Street" at Funny or Die, and also for his stint on "Parks and Recreations," among other roles - had stepped into Jimmy Kimmel's shoes as guest host of Kimmel's popular talk show when he welcomed Jaime Harrison onto "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on July 8.

Harrison, the former chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party and a DNC associate chairman, is running against longtime incumbent Senator Lindsey Graham, whose seat was once held by the notoriously anti-LGBTQ Sen. Strom Thurmond.

Eichner introduced Harrison with a "Golden Girls" reference, saying that Harrison was "hoping to send Lindsey Graham off into a very unhappy retirement at Shady Pines," reported The Daily Beast.

Harrison's campaign reportedly raised just shy of $14 million in the second quarter of this year, and polls show him to be virtually tied with Graham.

Harrison told Eichner that Graham is a "relic" of the "Old South," and added that constituents - both Democratic and Republican - have grown weary of his "rubber stamping" Trump-approved policies, reported Yahoo News.

Vowed Harrison:

" We're going to close the chapter on what I call the Old South, which Lindsey is a relic of, and we're going to start our own new chapter, a New South, that's bold, inclusive and diverse."

Said Harrison of Graham:

"We have a senator who cares more about his tee times with the president, or flying on Air Force One, or some fancy dinner, instead of coming here, and rolling up his sleeves, to do the work with the people of South Carolina."

Though political wisdom has it that longtime incumbents are hard, if not impossible, to dislodge, Harrison sounded a note of confidence in his chances, saying that he has always "beaten the odds," media outlets noted.

Harrison also recalled the rationale Graham gave when he switched from a critic of Donald Trump to an ardent supporter, noted the Daily Beast:

"He literally said it's because I like to stay 'relevant.' He used that word."

Eichner's campaign is selling Lindsey Graham-themed flip-flops in honor of the senator's shifting stance.

Though Graham himself recently acknowledged a reputation for being in Trump's pocket, the senator has found himself differing with the president on several occasions of late, noted Triblive:

Since June 20, Graham has blocked a Trump U.S. attorney nominee, criticized Trump's decision to put a temporary freeze on visas for foreign workers, split with the president about face masks during the coronavirus pandemic and pressed the administration for information about alleged Russian bounties on American soldiers.

Most recently, Triblive reported, Graham has been critical of Trump's attacks against Black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, blasting concerns over a cord fashioned into a noose in Wallace's Talladega garage as "a HOAX" and demanding that Wallace issue an apology.

Despite initial concerns, the loop was found to have been in place prior to Wallace's assignment of the space, and was evidently placed so as to make it easier to reach up and close the garage door.

Wallace was instrumental in convincing NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag at its races.

Watch the clip from "Jimmy Kimmel Live" below>

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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