30 most shocking late night scandals

Credit: CBS
Credit: CBS /
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Jimmy Kimmel, Steph Curry shoes
Photo: ABC /

7. Jimmy Kimmel gets in trouble for dark Detroit joke

Can you imagine what it’s like to get an entire city angry with you? That’s what Jimmy Kimmel seemed to do with his late night TV show in 2004. It happened on the night of Game 2 during the 2004 NBA Finals in Detroit. During ABC’s halftime show, Kimmel makes a special appearance to promote that night’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live. He does so with a joke intended to be funny, but it ends up creating quite a mess instead.

The game features the Detroit Pistons taking on the Los Angeles Lakers. Referring to the 1984 Detroit riots after the Tigers won the world series, Kimmel jokes that if the Pistons win, “They’re gonna burn the city of Detroit down, and it’s not worth it.” Kimmel was hoping for laughs and a bump in that night’s ratings, but he’d get the opposite instead.

Immediately after the joke, the Detroit affiliate of ABC announced they wouldn’t air Jimmy Kimmel Live that night. Soon after, the network followed suit and completely pulled the episode from the night’s line-up. At first, Kimmel tried to laugh the situation off with a joke response about flipping over his own car if the Lakers won. But ABC wouldn’t reinstate his show until he gave them a real apology.