Ryan Gosling and Jimmy Kimmel traded hilarious and heartwarming Las Vegas memories on Tuesday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!. It was just two days after the horrific mass shooting that killed over 50 people and injured over 500 during a Jason Aldean concert in the city.
The actor, promoting his new film Blade Runner 2049, opened the interview by acknowledging the awkwardness of hyping the project in the aftermath of recent tragedies, including the shooting and Hurricanes Maria, Harvey and Irma. But the mood lightened after Gosling asked Kimmel about his experiences growing up in Las Vegas.
“I never realized it was interesting place to be from until I moved away from there and people kept saying, ‘Wow, what an interesting place to be from!'” the host said. “For us, it was just where we were from. I played little league, and I played clarinet in the band.”
The comedian added he’s still stumbled upon some weird sightings in his hometown over the years. “I saw Liberace buying meat the Mayfair market,” he said. “That was pretty great. It was the middle of the night. He was wearing a hair net, and he was looking at the cuts of beef. And I was like, ‘Wow, that’s Liberace!’ I saw Sammy Davis Jr. shopping for clothes in the boys section at Saks Fifth Avenue.”
Kimmel also recounted his first encounter with childhood best friend Cleto Escobedo III, the longtime Jimmy Kimmel Live! bandleader. “When we met, I was riding a bicycle wearing boxing gloves and sunglasses [on a rainy day],” the host said, laughing. “Kleto thought there was something wrong with me.”
Gosling, who said he’s been to Las Vegas “a lot” over the years, recalled watching late comic legend Don Rickles – one of Kimmel’s close friends – perform in the city. “We were very, very high up, and I was with a friend,” the actor said. “He was so desperate to make contact that, in a quiet point in the show, he just yelled ‘Rickles!’ Don stopped, and he looked up. I forget what he said, but it was wildly insulting. He had that amazing ability to make you feel like you just experience some magic trick by him insulting you.”