Jimmy Kimmel sketch pokes fun at Kanye West and antisemitism with ad for ‘Yentanyl’

The sketch leans heavily into American Ashkenazi humor, referencing bagels, “Seinfeld” and side effects that include a “deep appreciation for Mel Brooks.”

 A Jimmy Kimmel sketch advertises a medication for antisemites known as "Yentanyl." (photo credit: SCREENSHOT VIA YOUTUBE)
A Jimmy Kimmel sketch advertises a medication for antisemites known as "Yentanyl."
(photo credit: SCREENSHOT VIA YOUTUBE)

(JTA) — With a sketch video aimed at Kanye West, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel joked about a “cure” for antisemitism: “Yentanyl.”

Kimmel debuted the term, a mashup of the word “yenta” (Yiddish for gossiping socialite) and the narcotic fentanyl, in a video for “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” viewers on Wednesday night. Or, as the generic name says on the bottle: “Meshuggenehonum” (a play on the word “meshuggeneh,” Yiddish for crazy).

“Does anyone else feel like we’re about to find out that for the past 20 years Kanye has been a Sacha Baron Cohen character?” Kimmel asked the audience in a segment addressing the multiple antisemitic remarks the rapper has made over the last few weeks.

“Does anyone else feel like we’re about to find out that for the past 20 years Kanye has been a Sacha Baron Cohen character?”

Jimmy Kimmel

The sketch leans heavily into American Ashkenazi humor, referencing bagels, “Seinfeld” and side effects that include a “deep appreciation for Mel Brooks.” Patients are cautioned to call their doctors “if your guilt trip lasts more than four hours.”

Response to the sketch

Comments on the show’s social media pages have been mixed.

Rapper Kanye West speaks during a meeting with US President Donald Trump to discuss criminal justice reform in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, US, October 11, 2018. (credit: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE/FILE PHOTO)Rapper Kanye West speaks during a meeting with US President Donald Trump to discuss criminal justice reform in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, US, October 11, 2018. (credit: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE/FILE PHOTO)

“I’m Jewish and this is funny – however – would this same video be allowed right now if it were about any other minority, race or group of people?” one commenter wrote on Instagram. “I truly don’t think so and I find that interesting.

Another person wrote, “Love your show. I was disappointed to see this being joked about. Antisemitism [sic] isn’t ever to be made light of. Please consider retracting it and getting back to your good programming.”

Jewish lifestyle blogger Shoshana Batya Greenwald, who frequently posts about bigotry centered around a Jewish perspective, shared the video on her Instagram story with the caption: “In the light of things like ‘teaching both sides,’ here’s something for the antisemites out there. You’re welcome.”

Earlier this week, Jewish comedian Ariel Elias, who had a beer thrown at her by a Trump supporter while performing at a comedy club, made a very Jewish-themed network television debut performance on Kimmel’s show.