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Jimmy Kimmel Roasts Ted Cruz During Charity Basketball Game

Rolling Stone logo Rolling Stone 6/19/2018 Ryan Reed

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(Video provided by ABC)

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 still 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 "b---s."

Watch Jimmy Kimmel Battle, Roast Ted Cruz in Charity Basketball Game: Jimmy Kimmel matched up with Texas Senator Ted Cruz – and grilled him with political questions – during a charity basketball game. © Provided by Wenner Media, Inc. Jimmy Kimmel matched up with Texas Senator Ted Cruz – and grilled him with political questions – during a charity basketball game. "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 during an intro to a video recap during Monday's episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! "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 b---s on a shelf somewhere."

The one-liners – many aimed at the president – continued as they duo whiffed poorly timed sky hooks and underhand lay-ups. "Who's harder to defend: me or Trump?" Kimmel said. 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 did relent – briefly – with a hint of friendliness. "You're a good sport," he admitted. "I still think you're a terrible senator."

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