Jimmy Kimmel squared off against Texas Senator Ted Cruz on Saturday in the “Blobfish Basketball Classic,” a charity match-up that raised over $80,000 for the Houston-based education non-profit Generation One charity and Texas Children’s Hospital. Despite the good cause, the late-night host talked political trash throughout the awkward, sweaty one-on-one match, grilling the former presidential candidate on issues like migrant family separation, health care and Cruz’s general lack of “balls.”
“It took almost an hour to get to six points – which would be a lot if this were a World Cup soccer game, but it was not,” Kimmel joked. “When we agreed to play until 11, I didn’t realize that meant 11 o’clock … You wont be able to tell, but the game was very rough. There were nothing but fouls the whole game long. I have bruises all over my body – he kept poking me with his hooves. The game went on so long [that] by the time the game was over, Jay-Z and Beyonce had written and produced an entire new album.”
Kimmel hurled as many insults as flailing jumpshots during the “Blobfish” event, named after the comedian’s unflattering description of Cruz’s face. After the politician took an early lead, the host fired back, “Did you spend more time this week practicing basketball than trying to get those kids out of that detention center?”
Later, Cruz ribbed Kimmel for supporting Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election. “Can I be honest? You’re right – it worked out terribly,” the host said. “Nothing has ever worked out worse than that worked out. But I’m glad to see you’ve forgiven Donald Trump for all the horrible things he said about your family, your father. I commend Ted for putting business first and his balls on a shelf somewhere.”
The one-liners continued as they duo whiffed sky hooks and underhand lay-ups. “Who’s harder to defend: me or Trump?” Kimmel asked. Later, he added, “Did you learn this grabbiness from Trump?” and “If you keep grabbing me like this, no one’s gonna make you a wedding cake.”
At one point, the exhausted competitors took a breather, during which they debated health insurance and pre-existing conditions.
Cruz eventually won the game by two – but in an electoral college-styled twist, Kimmel took home the MVP. After the senator agreed to match the host’s charitable donations, Kimmel relented. “You’re a good sport,” he admitted. “I still think you’re a terrible senator.”